Showalter mum on roster, rotation for ALDS

O's skipper not divulging starting pitcher for Game 2 against Tigers

Showalter mum on roster, rotation for ALDS

BALTIMORE -- Playoff teams don't have to officially announce their rosters for the American League Division Series until 10 a.m. ET on Thursday, a deadline Orioles manager Buck Showalter has frequently said is too late since his club locked up a postseason berth midway through September.

Still, if Showalter is allowed to delay that long he will. He's not paranoid, he likes to say, just alert.

"We've decided going into the workout today, we're going to take a look at a couple things there," the skipper said before his team took the field for an open workout on Wednesday. "Pretty sure where we're going. Obviously, I want the players to hear [from me]."

  Date   Matchup/Result Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 2   BAL 12, DET 3 video
Gm 2 Oct. 3   BAL 7, DET 6 video
Gm 3 Oct. 5   BAL 2, DET 1 video

A day before the O's take on the Tigers in Game 1 (5:30 p.m. Thursday on TBS) of the ALDS, Showalter isn't just keeping his roster a mystery, but his starting rotation, too. Chris Tillman will start the series opener on Thursday and the Orioles could go with Wei-Yin Chen, Bud Norris or Miguel Gonzalez for Game 2 on Friday.

Detroit manager Brad Ausmus has already announced his team's rotation -- Max Scherzer will pitch Game 1, followed by Justin Verlander, David Price and Rick Porcello -- and Showalter said he planned to let Ausmus know his before making it public. Showalter just wants to wait and see how Game 1 goes before making anything official.

"It's not cloak and dagger," Showalter said. "Just a couple things we're waiting on."

If Showalter goes with his starters on six days' rest as he suggested during the final weeks of the regular season, Chen would line up to start on Friday after last pitching on Saturday in Toronto.

Showalter has a history of holding off on announcing his postseason starters. The last time he led Baltimore to the postseason in 2012, the manager brought Tillman and Joe Saunders to the podium before Game 3 of the ALDS against the Yankees to keep his options open for Game 4.

The mystery of who will be featured on the Orioles' playoff roster, though, remains a tougher puzzle to solve. Showalter said he's still considering whether to keep 10 or 11 pitchers on the roster.

With a Tigers' lineup that typically features only one lefty and one switch-hitter, the Orioles could make due with fewer left-handed relievers than usual. That decision could leave room for an extra position player and open up a spot for a pinch-runner like Quintin Berry.

"We've kicked it around until we're blue in the face," Showalter said. "If you knew exactly what was going to be needed for each game, it would be really easy."

David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.