With the Baltimore Orioles already having won their first AL East title since 1997, manager Buck Showalter has turned his focus to preparing his team for the postseason.
Showalter said Monday that he plans to go with a four-man rotation in the American League Division Series, which will start Thursday, Oct. 2. The way the Orioles' rotation is set up for the final week of the regular season makes it appear the team will go with Chris Tillman (13-5, 3.26 ERA), Miguel Gonzalez (9-9, 3.33), Wei-Yin Chen (16-5, 3.56) and Bud Norris (14-8, 3.62) as the four in the rotation.
Showalter confirmed Tuesday that Tillman will get the Game 1 start. Showalter said the Orioles will wait to see which opponent they face before deciding on starters for the Games 2 and 3 in the playoffs.
Chen is the only left-hander among the four.
"You don't want starters to sit around more than an extra day," Showalter said prior to Monday's 5-0 loss to the New York Yankees. "After you get past one, it's a little iffy, depending on who it is. We've got it wired out through the end of the first round, but we're going to wait and see a couple things. How everybody feels. And also not being sure who you're playing yet."
Righty Kevin Gausman (7-7, 3.57) has been a part of the Orioles' rotation for most of the season but might see action out of the bullpen during the best-of-five division series.
Although the Orioles trail the Los Angeles Angels for the best record in the AL, Baltimore already has clinched home-field advantage in the ALDS by virtue of the Detroit Tigers' 2-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.