The Ervin Santana sweepstakes has finally come to an end, while fortunately he wound up in the Braves and not with Toronto. In the scheme of things is the second best option for the Orioles. The team has been reassigning players to the minor league camp, which gives us a glimpse into what the final roster may look like when camp breaks in about two weeks. Here is my projection with 26 players given Manny Machado’s status is still uncertain:
David Lough LF
Manny Machado/Ryan Flaherty 3B
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Nelson Cruz DH
JJ Hardy SS
Matt Wieters C
Jonathan Schoop 2B
This was an incredibly difficult exercise as there are a few players making very convincing cases to make the team. Taking a look at the options, gives me a taste of how difficult a skipper’s job can get in a hurry. Zach Britton as we all know is out of options and having a strong spring, so he makes the team in the bullpen. Kevin Gausman is just too damn good to keep off the roster and a heck of a nice guy to boot. Yoon is being paid to be on the roster, but his visa issues could delay his arrival in Baltimore depending on how prepared he is to face big league hitters. I like that the bullpen could be full of could be starters that could eat innings in case one of the starting five has a bad night. In Buck’s universe nothing beats flexibility. I am really excited to see what Johan Santana has left in the tank, hopefully he is banging on the Camden Yards Clubhouse door early in the summer.
Steve Pearce is swinging a good bat and gives Manager Buck Showalter many options in the field given his versatility. If Manny is able to start on Opening Day, then Flaherty drops to the bench and Weeks is off the 25-man roster. I suspect Nolan Reimold starts the season on the DL, the club wouldn’t have to reach too far to convince anyone he’s hurt. Since he was sent to the minor league camp to figure out how to hit, doesn’t provide me with any warm and fuzzy feelings about him making the roster. He is starting to turn into that guy in the office that everyone really likes, but when lay-offs come you feel bad about letting him go, but everyone knows it was coming.
The Orioles appear to have high class problems with so many players having a good spring, but they can’t keep everyone. There are scouts from other teams drooling over the Bird’s potential leftovers. Long gone are the days of trying to patch together a roster with prospects, potentials, and has-beens. I praise Dan Duquette for assembling a good group of ballplayers to audition for the openings.
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