BALTIMORE –- The Orioles play their next eight games in National League cities, and that means no designated hitter.
The Orioles don’t have a strict designated hitter, but Henry Urrutia and Danny Valencia haven’t played the field. If Valencia stays around after Brian Roberts returns from paternity leave, don’t expect him to play the field on the trip, and it’s unlikely Urrutia will either, except in an emergency.
Manager Buck Showalter says that because the Orioles don’t have someone like Ortiz or Billy Butler, they won’t be at a disadvantage. Two years ago, the Orioles had Vladimir Guerrero, and he couldn’t play the field.
“I don’t see it affecting us as it might some clubs,” Showalter said.
Alexi Casilla and Ryan Flaherty can play several positions and that may help Showalter in double switches.
“Versatility plays up a little bit, and I think we’ve got some people who can play lots of places,” Showalter said.
Normally the Orioles have four bench players including a backup catcher. If the team continues to carry 12 pitchers, there’ll be five, and perhaps six.
“If we get a couple of good starts, we could float another position player in there,” Showalter said.
The Orioles may have a secret weapon, who wasn’t available the last time the team play a series in a National League park in May. Scott Feldman was 6-for-34 this year as a hitter with the Chicago Cubs. Feldman had a home run and six RBIs this season. He also had two doubles. Showalter noted that Feldman has parked some balls on Eutaw Street.
Feldman will probably start Saturday in San Francisco.
Bud Norris and Miguel Gonzalez are the likely starters in San Diego.