Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 2/5/14
Going over the list of the nearly 60 players who will be in Sarasota, Fla., when major league spring training opens for the Orioles next week and trying to project the club's 25-man roster for Opening Day is a tough task. However, there are roughly 13 "locks" for the Opening Day roster. After that, there are about six players who have a better chance to make the team than not. That doesn’t leave much room for everyone else, and it'd be best for two newcomers who are competing for roster spots to show they can play multiple positions in order to have a chance to crack the Opening Day roster. Second baseman Jemile Weeks, who came to the Orioles from the Oakland Athletics in the trade for closer Jim Johnson in December, and catcher Johnny Monell, acquired in a deal with the San Francisco Giants, both likely will have to show their flexibility. Showalter loves players with versatility, and he will test players in different positions this spring while formulating his roster. Last season, Steve Pearce earned the final Opening Day roster spot by showing he could play both corner outfield spots and first base while also serving as a right-handed designated hitter. Ryan Flaherty will enter the spring as the favorite to take over as the starting second baseman, but he might be forced to shift to third base if Manny Machado isn’t fully recovered from offseason left-knee surgery in time for Opening Day. If Flaherty opens the season as the Opening Day second baseman, Weeks will compete with nonroster utility player Alexi Casilla, who can play second base, shortstop and third base and brings speed on the base paths. Top position player prospect Jonathan Schoop could also compete for that spot, but it'd be best for him to continue developing with everyday at-bats at Triple-A Norfolk. While Weeks has made each of his 209 major league starts at second base, he played center field twice at the big league level and saw action in 25 games there at Triple-A Sacramento last year. He also played 23 games at shortstop last season in Triple-A.
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