Showalter declines to endorse Hunter as closer

Showalter declines to endorse Hunter as closer
May 14, 2014, 11:45 am
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Baltimore Orioles pitcher Tommy Hunter (29) is pulled from the game by manager Buck Showalter (26) after giving up the game winning home run in the ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Tigers defeated the Orioles 4-1.

(Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports)

ALTIMORE – Buck Showalter didn’t exactly offer another endorsement of Tommy Hunter as his closer Wednesday morning.

Last year, Showalter was much blunter in backing Jim Johnson when he had a series of blown saves.

“The difference between Tommy and Jimmy is Jimmy had a track record,” Showalter said. “Tommy does too, in certain other things. There’s some unknown about where we’ll go with Tommy.”

He’s not committing to using Hunter if the situation presents itself this afternoon.

“I don’t know yet. We’ll see,” Showalter said.

Showalter reiterated that he isn’t a fan of closer by committee.

“I consider everything,” Showalter said. “No, it’s not an advantage necessarily.”

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NOTES: Chris Tillman says his sore groin is much better the last two days and doesn’t foresee any reason why he wouldn’t start on Friday in Kansas City.

-Showalter will miss Saturday’s game to attend his daughter’s law school graduation and third base coach Bobby Dickerson won’t be at Tuesday’s game in Pittsburgh because of a graduation.

The Orioles would like to add their director of player development Brian Graham for those games. Minor league infield instructor Dave Anderson is also a possibility.

-Steve Johnson suffered a shoulder injury in Norfolk in Tuesday’s game.

-Frederick catcher Steel Russell, son of Orioles bench coach John Russell, may have a broken hand.