Buck on trade rumors

ST. PETERSBURG— The Orioles had a different look lineup for Friday’s series opener against the Rays and manager Buck Showalter joked, “we’ve got 4 or 5 big trades that are going to happen any second now that’s going to change that.” Certainly July 31’s Trade Deadline has all of baseball buzzing and Showalter was particularly amused about some of the rumors floating around about his club. “I don’t read anything or listen,” Showalter said, adding that he laughed when he was told that the O’s would be willing to trade prized young starter Kevin Gausman. Showalter said Friday’s newest rumor that Chris Davis could be headed to Pittsburgh was something that “would be news to him”. As for the speculation that both Davis and Wei-Yin Chen, both free agents at the end of the year, are guys the O’s are trying to trade Showalter said: “Dan [Duquette] has never even brought that up and he brings up anything and everything that might be out there, and he’s never mentioned that.” The Orioles entered Friday’s game 4 1/2 games back in the Wild Card and Duquette said earlier in the week that regardless of what happens on this road trip the O’s are looking to be buyers at the deadline.

Orioles @ Rays Game 1

Greetings from Tropicana Field, where the O’s open a three-game series against the Rays. After being swept in New York, Orioles manager Buck Showalter has done some tweaking to the top of the lineup. Manny Machado is hitting third for the first time in his career, Ryan Flaherty at second for the first time since college and Jimmy Paredes in the leadoff spot.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Jimmy Paredes DH
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Manny Machado 3B
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Travis Snider LF
Caleb Joseph C
Chris Parmelee 1B

Chris Tillman RHP

RAYS LINEUP
Steven Souza Jr. RF
John Jaso DH
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Tim Beckham SS
David DeJesus LF
Jake Elmore 2B
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Rene Rivera C

Chris Archer RHP

Roberts to serve as guest analyst on MLB Network

ST. PETERSBURG— Longtime Oriole Brian Roberts will serve as a guest analyst across three shows for MLB Network next week.

Roberts’ first appearance will be Monday on “MLB Central”  from 10am-1pm, followed on Tuesday with “The Rundown” at 2pm ET and “MLB Tonight” at 6pm ET. Roberts will finish his guest stint with a second appearance on “MLB Tonight” on Wednesday from 6-9pm ET.

Roberts played all but one of his 14 Major League seasons in Baltimore, signing as a free agent with the Yankees in 2014. He played in 1,327 games as an Oriole and posted a .278/.349/.412 line with 351 doubles.

He retired in October.

Orioles @ Tigers Game 3

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Jimmy Paredes DH
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis RF
Matt Wieters C
J.J. Hardy SS
Travis Snider LF
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Chris Parmelee 1B

Miguel Gonzalez RHP

TIGERS LINEUP
Ian Kinsler 2B
Anthony Gose CF
Yoenis Cespedes LF
Victor Martinez DH
J.D. Martinez RF
Alex Avila C
Marc Krauss 1B
Jose Iglesias SS
Andrew Romine 3B

Justin Verlander RHP

Orioles @ Tigers Game 2

Greetings from Comerica, where the Os are hoping to even the series against David Price and the Tigers….

*Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman will start Wednesday’s game in New York, as expected, as Baltimore keeps him on a five-man rotation schedule.

The decision, while widely speculated, also brings about another roster crunch for the O’s to recall him. Baltimore still has a wealth of outfielders and —assuming there are no injuries over the next few days— it could be a situation similar to Delmon Young, who was designated and then released.

“Very similar,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Right now on the surface it’d be a positional player [to go for Gausman] but some things can happen between now and then. But right now it’s the game tonight and where all that fits and whatever is kind of up to [EVP] Dan [Duquette]. I’m sure he’s got some things that he’s considering.”

Gausman was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk to stay on a regular schedule during the All-Star Break and, assuming he keeps the team in most games, will remain up with the O’s. He will be followed by Ubaldo Jimenez, who will start Thursday’s series finale.

*With the outfield/first base crunch noted above, the Orioles had hoped that left field would have been a little more stable by mid-July.

“We thought a couple guys were getting ready to take off with it and we hit some rough patches,” Showalter said. “Wou are always trying to keep everyone in play mode, but I was hoping at this point we were a little more in ‘set mode’. But it hasn’t worked out that way.”

Meanwhile, outfielder Dariel Alvarez continues to be an intriguing option at Triple-A. Alvarez is batting .283 with a .306 on-base percentage. He does have 43 strikeouts against just seven walks, however.

Showalter said he’s not looking for help outside of the current roster right now.

“First we’re talking about having to make a move for a position player for Wednesday. It’s not like these guys haven’t been good in given periods, we just haven’t really had that consistency out of that [left field] spot we had hoped to have,” he said. “But Dariel’s having a good year, learning things every day, still has got some hiccups here and there, like we all do. But I’m glad he’s one of us.”

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Steve Pearce 1B
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters DH
Chris Davis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Nolan Reimold LF
Caleb Joseph C

Chris TIllman RHP

TIGERS LINEUP
Ian Kinsler 2B
Yoenis Cespedes LF
Victor Martinez DH
J.D. Martinez RF
Nick Castellanos 3B
Alex Avila 1B
James McCann C
Jose Iglesias SS
Anthony Gose CF

David Price LHP

Davis remaining in right field for now

DETROIT— There are no plans right now for Chris Davis to move back to first base as the slugger started in right field Saturday night for the 16th time in the team’s last 18 games.

Still, Orioles manager Buck Showalter wouldn’t commit to calling Davis the club’s everyday right fielder.

“I wouldn’t call him anything. If we need to put a brand on it..he is [the right fielder] tonight. It’s kind of who we are,” Showalter said.  “It just tells you how valuable he is and it makes people, not only us but in baseball, aware of how versatile and valuable he is.”

Davis has been solid defensively in right field and Showalter’s statement seems to imply that the O’s are —at the very least— entertaining the idea of shopping him. Baltimore has mostly used Chris Parmelee at first base since the move, though Steve Pearce got the start there on Saturday.

“I’m sure at some point before the year is over [Davis will play first base],” Showalter said. “He’s playing a really good right field for us. I think he’s as good of a right fielder as he is a first baseman. He can play both of them well.”

Orioles @ Tigers Game 1 lineups and lots of links

Greetings from Comerica Park, where the Orioles will open the second half with a three-city road trip that starts with three games in Detroit. The O’s are 44-44 and are four games out of the AL East to start the day. You can read my recap of the first half -along with some second-half storylines- here.

The buzz in the clubhouse today was surrounding the four All-Stars who returned: Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Zach Britton and Darren O’Day. You can read more about their time in Cincy here. I also spoke with each guy in the clubhouse about what moment(s) stood out to them most and the overwhelming response was the relationships with other players. Machado referenced talking to guys like Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder at the Home Run Derby, Britton mentioned making friends with Toronto’s Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson. It’s funny how once you put a big group of baseball players together, regardless of their team, there’s almost an immediate bond there. O’Day also spoke of the relationships formed and the conversations with players around the League and said it’s an experience he’d take with him the rest of his life.

In Draft news, Orioles second-round pick Jonathan Hughes has declared his intent to attend Georgia Tech rather than turn pro and you can read more on that here.

There’s also a fun color piece up on O’s reliever Chaz Roe and why he should be your favorite pitcher. You can read that here.

Here are your lineups….

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Jimmy Paredes DH
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis RF
Matt Wieters C
J.J. Hardy SS
Travis Snider LF
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Chris Parmelee 1B.

Ubaldo Jimenez RHP

TIGERS LINEUP
Ian Kinsler 2B
Yoenis Cespedes LF
Victor Martinez DH
J.D. Martinez RF
Nick Castellanos 3B
Alex Avila 1B
James McCann C
Jose Iglesias SS
Anthony Gose CF

Anibal Sanchez RHP

Orioles vs. Nationals- first half finale

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Orioles will close the first half with the series finale against the Nationals. Chris Davis, who was a late scratch with a stomach bug on Saturday night, is back in the lineup for the rubber match.

As a reminder, the O’s will have pitching prospect Zach Davies in this afternoon’s Futures Game as part of Team USA. MLB.com will have exclusive coverage of the game in Cincinnati. It can be seen live on MLB Network and MLB.com and can be followed live on MLB.com’s Gameday. You can also check Orioles.com later for an O’s specific story on Davies.

You can also check Orioles.com throughout the All-Star Break for exclusive on-site coverage of the O’s four All-Stars in Tuesday’s game as well as Manny Machado’s performance in Monday’s Home Run Derby.  MLB.com has a great team of beat reporters, national reporters and columnists already there who are on hand to capture all of the best moments, and there will be plenty of Oriole-specific coverage on Orioles.com.

I’ll also have a midterm report mid-week with a recap of the first half and a lookahead to the second half of the season which should (hopefully) be enough to satisfy your baseball fix until I land in Detroit Friday morning. The blog and endless stream of Twitter updates, that will go on through today’s game, will also pick back up when I land in Detroit.

Here are your lineups for today…

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Jimmy Paredes DH
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis RF
Matt Wieters C
Chris Parmelee 1B
J.J. Hardy SS
David Lough LF
Jonathan Schoop 2B

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

Os set second half rotation

BALTIMORE— The Orioles have set their second-half rotation with Ubaldo Jimenez, Chris Tillman and Miguel Gonzalez starting the team’s three-game series in Detroit.

Following an off day, Wei-Yin Chen will get the ball for the series opener in New York on July 21.

“It fit the best for the needs of our guys and where it fits best for the rest of the month,” manager Buck Showalter said of what went into the decision.

Kevin Gausman, who will start twice for Triple-A Norfolk, is expected to be added to the roster and pitch the fifth game after the All-Star Break, though Showalter wouldn’t commit either way on Saturday.

“We have some options there [with the off day],” Showalter said. “We have it mapped out through the rest of the month if everything stays.”

Orioles vs. Nationals

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Jimmy Paredes DH
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis RF
Chris Parmelee 1B
Travis Snider LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Caleb Joseph C

Miguel Gonzalez RHP

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