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O's look for rotation answers as camp opens

Baltimore aims to once again outperform expectations in AL East
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

SARASOTA, Fla. -- After a long, cold winter, Spring Training is finally here. It should be an exciting one for the Orioles, who will look to make rotation additions during what could be a busy first few weeks of camp around baseball.

The sunny skies and warm Florida weather will again be home to a steady stream of pitchers and catchers at Ed Smith Stadium Complex starting on Tuesday -- though there are already some O's players checked in, excited and ready to start another season.

SARASOTA, Fla. -- After a long, cold winter, Spring Training is finally here. It should be an exciting one for the Orioles, who will look to make rotation additions during what could be a busy first few weeks of camp around baseball.

The sunny skies and warm Florida weather will again be home to a steady stream of pitchers and catchers at Ed Smith Stadium Complex starting on Tuesday -- though there are already some O's players checked in, excited and ready to start another season.

Who will slot in alongside Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy in the rotation? How will Manny Machado look at shortstop? What will happen with the contracts of manager Buck Showalter and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, both of which expire after the season?

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Those are just some of the many questions surrounding the O's, who have the unenviable task of going up against a retooled Yankees team and a Red Sox club looking to bounce back from last year's early postseason exit in the tough American League East.

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The Orioles are never the favorites in February, and never the big story in March or April. But they remain hopeful that with the right pieces, they can do what Showalter's teams have done best over his tenure -- outperform expectations.

Baltimore got off to a hot start in 2017, but couldn't keep it going -- due to rotation struggles and offensive inconsistency. Duquette has made several late signings in Spring Training during his time with the O's, including Nelson Cruz, Ubaldo Jimenez and Yovani Gallardo.

The first workout for pitchers and catchers is on Wednesday, with the first full-squad practice next Monday. The Orioles' first Grapefruit League game is at home against the Rays on Feb. 23 at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

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