BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter knows that trade talk will continue to surround the team for the next eight days. The non-waiver trade deadline is July 31.
While trade talk is always a popular topic, it's much more of a concern to the media than to players, he believes.
"Y'all hear so much of the rumors and so many of the things I try not to get involved with," Showalter said. "It's hard for me to imagine that those guys are at home every night having to stay on top of it like y'all have to stay on top of it."
Showalter said he's not preparing to say goodbye to players he's grown close with.
"I think you're always in a mode of what's best for the team and the organization and the short and long-term," Showalter said. "The best deals are the ones that are best short-term and long-term."
In advance of the deadline, the Orioles are healthier than they've been, perhaps all season. Two of the remaining three players on the disabled list, infielder Ryan Flaherty (shoulder) and outfielder Anthony Santander (forearm) are scheduled to begin rehab assignments July 27.
Santander, a Rule 5 draft choice, hasn't played all season, and the Orioles are eager to get a look at him. If he is activated in mid-August and stays with the club through the end of the season, he'll use about half the needed 90 days on the active roster to enable the team to freely option him.
The bullpen has the personnel Showalter wants, and it's the main reason the team hasn't made an alteration to its major league roster since July 14, the longest stretch all season.
Showalter is missing Flaherty and regular shortstop J.J. Hardy (right wrist). Hardy may still be several weeks from a return. Flaherty, who hasn't played since May 18, and Santander are both on the 60-day disabled list.
"Not having Ryan has been a challenge for us," Showalter said. "It solved a lot of issues for us as far as [giving players] off days and really playing seven, eight positions. It's really hard finding somebody to do the things he does or did."
BUNDY REST: After right-hander Dylan Bundy's start, he'll get additional rest, Showalter said. He anticipates Bundy won't throw again until Aug. 1, the fifth day following the July 27 off day.
Showalter will use the scheduled Aug. 17 and Aug. 24 off days to give Bundy more rest. Bundy's schedule has been mapped out through early September. He anticipates Bundy could throw as many as 180 innings.
"It will be kind of easing the throttle a little bit so that we can push it again if we need to," Showalter said. "I know about where I think where he's going to end up if he stays on schedule. Very happy where he is right now physically and with the innings. He feels about as good as what he's felt in a long time."
KIM STARTS: Showalter is giving Hyun Soo Kim his first career start as a designated hitter. It will be Kim's first start since July 9.
Mark Trumbo will start in right and Seth Smith, who is 1-for-12 with seven strikeouts against Houston's starter, right-hander Lance McCullers, will not start.
"More for Kim than anything," Showalter said.