With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com takes a look at a different aspect of this year's Orioles squad each day this week. Today's topic: Predicting the 25-man roster.SARASOTA, Fla. -- It's never too early to start predicting the 25-man roster. And while there's not a whole lot of roster intrigue
With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com takes a look at a different aspect of this year's Orioles squad each day this week. Today's topic: Predicting the 25-man roster.
SARASOTA, Fla. -- It's never too early to start predicting the 25-man roster. And while there's not a whole lot of roster intrigue for the Orioles -- assuming there are no major injuries -- there are still some spots that will be up for grabs when camp starts next week.
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We'll revisit this a few times before the O's head north, but here's the first stab at the Opening Day roster. Consider the list below an educated guess, with some fringe guys noted below.
Catcher (2):Welington Castillo, Caleb Joseph
Francisco Pena being designated for assignment on Friday makes the backup spot Joseph's with no real competition as the O's are intent on top prospect Chance Sisco getting some seasoning at Triple-A.
First base: Chris Davis
Second base:Jonathan Schoop
Schoop will presumably be backed up by Ryan Flaherty again.
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Third base:Manny Machado
Unless the Orioles find a better third baseman, of course. (Kidding.)
Hardy will once again captain the infield.
Utility man:Ryan Flaherty
Flaherty is versatile and defensively sound, though the recent signing of Robert Andino, who will be a non-roster invitee, could make things interesting.
Designated hitter (2):Mark Trumbo, Trey Mancini
Trumbo should get a lot of DH at-bats. Mancini isn't a lock to make the team -- he's one of those fringe guys -- but he has shown the ability to crush left-handed pitching, which is a weakness for the O's.
Outfield (4):Adam Jones, Seth Smith, Hyun Soo Kim, Joey Rickard
It will be interesting to see how former Rule 5 Draft pick Rickard plays into this equation. He could compete for a bench role with Mancini and the Orioles two new Rule 5 Draft picks -- Aneury Tavarez and Anthony Santander -- for one of the last spots.
Starting rotation (5):Kevin Gausman, Chris Tillman, Wade Miley, Dylan Bundy, Ubaldo Jimenez
Trading away Yovani Gallardo made the starting rotation pretty much set, barring injury. Still, the O's will need better performances to be competitive.
Bullpen (7):Zach Britton, Darren O'Day, Brad Brach, Mychal Givens, Donnie Hart, Logan Verrett, Logan Ondrusek
The first four are locks. Hart should also have a spot -- he did well last year and gives the club another lefty option. That leaves two spots to fill. Verrett looks, early on anyhow, to be the long guy to replace Vance Worley. If so, early favorites for that last spot include Mike Wright, Tyler Wilson and Ondrusek.
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.