ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter won't post his opening night lineup until after today's workout, but he told reporters not to expect any surprises. I'd assume that means he's using the same lineup that we saw at the end of the exhibition schedule: Roberts, Markakis, Lee, Guerrero, Scott, Jones, Reynolds, Wieters and Hardy. I'll pass along the official one later.
Showalter explained why he chose Chris Tillman over Brad Bergesen for Sunday's start against the Rays.
"I think he's equipped to go longer pitch-wise," Showalter said. "If you look at Bergy the last two times out, yesterday was a two-inning stint, the time before was a four-pitch stint. Plus, I think he's probably a little better suited to pitch out of the 'pen a little bit. I think Tillman's ready to go 100 if Tampa lets him, more that than anything else."
That would be 100 pitches, not innings, though they've played some long games here. And Showalter is hoping those 100 pitches don't cover 4 1/3 innings.
Here's more on the decision:
"Another part of that was if we get rained out Monday, we play five days in a row. That was a factor, too," Showalter said. "If we had sent one of those two guys down and got rained out Monday, we couldn't bring them back in time. Koji (Uehara) would have started and we would have had one of those bullpen games like we had in spring training."
He's kidding about Uehara starting.
Justin Duchscherer was supposed to throw in the bullpen yesterday, according to Showalter, but his back flared up while stretching.
"Mostly at that time, I believe it was his back, which could also be a byproduct of the hip. We're not sure yet," Showalter said. "It's a setback, but Richie (Bancells) and his agent and him are working around what the next step is. I think he's going to see some of the people who actually did some of the (hip) procedures. I think that's the plan. We'll see after some of the emotion of it wears down a little bit, and see where you are in the next day or so."
Duchscherer apparently wants to go to Arizona for a consultation with his doctors.
"That's something they were looking at. I know that's initially what Duke wanted to do," Showalter said. "I know he went and saw one of the chiropractors that was dealing with him yesterday to see if an adjustment could get him back going. It's a little frustrating for him. He thought he has turned the corner a little bit. Hopefully, he has. Hopefully, the next day or two it will quiet down and we're back on the bicycle again. But we knew it was going to be a challenge back when we signed him. We'll continue to go down that road and see if we can get him there."