ARLINGTON -- The Orioles have to set their 25-man American League Wild Card roster by Friday at 10 a.m. ET, and -- excluding injured players -- they will need to cut six more than they already have.
Starters Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez and Wei-Yin Chen could be excluded from Friday's game and added for the AL Division Series against the Yankees if the Orioles advance, potentially clearing spots for more relievers, such as Jake Arrieta and Zach Britton behind starter Joe Saunders. Steve Tolleson, Omar Quintanilla and Lew Ford are also considered on the bubble.
"You try to prepare for as many situations as possible and you look at your lineup, as far as position players and what you would actually do," manager Buck Showalter said. "It's like when someone says it's not necessarily about pitching, it's about pitching. Usually, the team that pitches the best wins those games.
"You'll see us err on the side of pitching."
Following Wednesday's 4-1 loss to the Rays in St. Petersburg, the Orioles left four players behind for the fall instructional league in nearby Sarasota, Fla.: Dylan Bundy, Luis Exposito, Bill Hall and Zach Phillips. Outfielder L.J. Hoes was sent to the instructional league earlier in the week, and Steve Pearce was ineligible for the postseason roster because he was acquired too late in the season.
Clean X-ray has Reynolds set to face Rangers
ARLINGTON -- The X-ray that Mark Reynolds underwent on his left foot came back negative, and the Orioles' first baseman is expected to be in the starting lineup for Friday's do-or-die American League Wild Card matchup against the Rangers at Texas, airing at 8:30 p.m. ET on TBS.
"This is nothing," said Reynolds, who has played through numerous injuries this year. "Especially this time of year, there's so much on the line. Just the adrenaline and everything is going to figure into it.
Reynolds, who fouled a ball off the bone near his big toe in Wednesday's 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay, came up hopping and in obvious pain, but he remained in the game. Reynolds played in 135 regular-season games, hitting the disabled list once with a left oblique strain but playing through biceps and hand injuries as well.
Asked how he's able to play through pain, Reynolds said: "I don't steal bases, so there's none of that part. I don't play the outfield, so I don't have to run very much. It's just a mental thing. You go out there, put it out of your head and you compete. That's how athletes are. We are competitors, and you go out there and have fun. Coupled with how big this game is, I'm pretty sure I won't even feel my foot."
Reynolds batted .221 with a .335 on-base percentage and a .429 slugging percentage this season, hitting 23 homers and collecting 69 RBIs. The 29-year-old, who has improved his defense considerably since moving to first base from third, has postseason experience as a member of the 2007 Arizona Diamondbacks. When asked of the Orioles' mindset on the eve of the organization's first postseason appearance in 15 years, Reynolds said: "We are where we expected to be in Spring Training. Obviously, a lot of people didn't think we would get here, but I know everyone in this clubhouse thought we could.
Last time I was in the playoffs, we had five games to decide it, not one. [It will be ] just a nailbiting game all the way until the end. Hopefully, we can move on and go play the Yankees."
Should the Orioles win on Friday, they will return to Baltimore to host Sunday's Game 1 of the AL Division Series against New York.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.