5/14/2014 1:15 P.M. ET
Showalter weighs options regarding Hunter
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- Does embattled closer Tommy Hunter get the ball in the Orioles' next save situation? Manager Buck Showalter wouldn't tip his hand prior to Wednesday's game, but he didn't exactly give the right-hander -- who blew his third save in 14 opportunities on Tuesday night -- a ringing endorsement.
"I don't know yet. We'll see," Showalter said. "I got to figure out some way. I think we lead baseball, and continue to do it, in save situations."
The O's, who are tops in the American League in that category, had won the first 13 games in which Hunter had a save opportunity, with Tuesday's 4-1 loss to the Tigers halting that streak. Their ability to still get the 'W' has, to some extent, covered up Hunter's struggles, as he has a 6.60 ERA and has allowed 29 baserunners in 15 innings.
In his first season as closer due to the offseason trade of All-Star Jim Johnson, Hunter's leash figures to be much shorter than Johnson's was, and Showalter agreed that lefty Zach Britton -- who has pitched to a 0.84 ERA -- potentially has the stuff to be a ninth-inning guy. Showalter has also considered going with a closer-by-committee strategy, although he doesn't think that's beneficial in the long run.
"I consider everything," Showalter said of ninth-inning options. "The different between Tommy and Jimmy is Jimmy had a track record. ... There is some unknown about where this will go with Tommy."
Showalter, Dickerson to attend daughters' graduations
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles will have another coach for Saturday and Tuesday's games, with manager Buck Showalter noting that director of player development Brian Graham will likely be on hand for Saturday's game in Kansas City.
Showalter will be attending his daughter's graduation from law school Saturday, so Graham will fill in as bench coach and John Russell will be the acting manager.
Third-base coach Bobby Dickerson will miss Tuesday's game in Pittsburgh for his daughter's graduation, and Showalter said the Orioles could potentially have Graham present for that game as well.
"I don't know if we are going to split it up between him and Dave Anderson," Showalter said. "Try to be the least disruptive, but we will have an extra guy on the day I'm missing in Kansas City, which is Saturday, and the day Bobby is missing on Tuesday. I don't know if it will be the same guy or not. Like to get Brian to Pittsburgh so he can spend a little time at home."
Johnson leaves Triple-A game with shoulder injury
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles got some bad news on pitcher Steve Johnson on Tuesday night, as he exited Triple-A Norfolk's game after two innings with right shoulder discomfort and will be re-evaluated further on Wednesday.
Johnson was placed on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation on April 15 and was activated again on May 3. He had made two starts before Tuesday's injury-shortened start.
"We came close to taking him [instead of Kevin Gausman]," O's manager Buck Showalter said of the team's roster move for Wednesday. "Decided to let him have one more outing down there to make sure he's OK. Glad we didn't put him in harm's way up here."
Johnson, who has pitched parts of the part two seasons for the Orioles, has a 6.11 ERA in five starts for Norfolk this year.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.