O's go with 11 pitchers on roster for Wild Card game
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INGTON -- The Orioles have 11 pitchers and 14 position players on their roster for Friday's winner-take-all Wild Card game against the Rangers at 8:30 p.m. ET on TBS.
Manager Buck Showalter, who tabbed veteran southpaw Joe Saunders as his starter, will have three other left-handed pitchers at his disposal, along with seven righties.
Showalter said on Thursday his club would "err on the side of pitching" and will be able to play matchups as needed with 10 options behind Saunders. Without the need for a full starting rotation, Wei-Yin Chen, Chris Tillman and Miguel Gonzalez were all left off of the roster. Showalter is uncomfortable using any of those starters on short rest, citing health reasons. Should the Orioles advance, they would be added for the Division Series roster.
Friday's roster also have a deep bench with infielders Robert Andino and Omar Quintanilla and outfielders Endy Chavez and Lew Ford as potential substitutions during the game. Taylor Teagarden will serve as the backup to catcher Matt Wieters.
The O's starting lineup is Showalter's typical lineup against right-handers with Chris Davis in right field, Mark Reynolds at first base and 42-year-old slugger Jim Thome at designated hitter against Texas' Yu Darvish. Second baseman and Rule 5 Draft pick Ryan Flaherty is batting eighth and rookie third baseman Manny Machado is ninth.
The winner will advance to face the Yankees in the American League Division Series, hosting New York for games on Sunday and Monday.
The roster breakdown will be as follows:
Pitchers: Jake Arrieta, Luis Ayala, Zach Britton, Tommy Hunter, Jim Johnson, Steve Johnson, Brian Matusz, Darren O'Day, Troy Patton, Saunders, Pedro Strop