Now Commenting On:

Showalter weighs options regarding Hunter

Showalter weighs options regarding Hunter play video for Showalter weighs options regarding Hunter

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."

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.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español