Only three weeks remain until the Baltimore Orioles take the field for Opening Day. General Manager Dan Duquette has made a few recent signings that will make the Opening Day roster, and some believe that the team isn’t done yet.

However, a few positional battles still need to be answered over the final three weeks of spring training. Who will be the Orioles fifth starter? How many outfielders will they keep and which ones? Who will be the backup to Caleb Joseph? Who rounds out the bullpen?

Fans of the Orioles know to expect the unexpected. Keeping that in mind, let’s take a shot at projecting the Orioles’ Opening Day 25-man roster.

Setting The Infield For The Baltimore Orioles

1B- Chris Davis

2B- Jonathan Schoop

SS-Manny Machado

3B- Tim Beckham

UT- Danny Valencia

No real surprises here. After Valencia signed last week, BaltimoreBaseball.com’s Dan Connolly asked him if he would accept an assignment to the minor leagues. Valencia responded with, “I have nothing to prove down there.” Through three games down in Sarasota, Valencia is 4-9 with three doubles, a home run, and three runs scored. He can play third, first, and multiple outfield positions, providing the versatility Baltimore needs. Unfortunately, for guys like Luis Sardinas, Garabez Rosa, Ruben Tejada, and Engelb Vielma, the competition for the utility infield job appears over.

Colby Rasmus To Join Baltimore Orioles Outfield

LF- Trey Mancini

CF-Adam Jones

OF- Colby Rasmus

OF/DH- Mark Trumbo

OF- Anthony Santander

With the shoulder injury to Austin Hays, I don’t expect him to make the initial 25-man roster. Colby Rasmus, who returned to baseball on a minor league deal with the Orioles, is a proven veteran with experience against American League East pitching. Buck Showalter loves Santander’s bat and will allow him to finish out his required major league service time after being a Rule-5 pick last year. Left-hander Alex Presley is hitting .300 with the Orioles this spring and will get a serious look, but he will have to beat out Craig Gentry.

The Last Spot

There’s still one more spot available for an infielder or outfielder. That last spot could come down to Presley, Gentry, and Sardinas. The Orioles lack depth in the middle of the infield. Sardinas has been playing very well this spring and provides speed and the ability to play every position on the field, except catcher. It’s no secret that Showalter loves Gentry. Other than pitching, the Orioles emphasized the need to add a left-handed hitting outfielder to the roster all offseason long. They did that by signing Alex Presley and Colby Rasmus, but only after signing Craig Gentry first. Gentry makes the 25-man with his ability to change the game in late-inning situations.

Will A Surprise Prospect Make The Team At Catcher?

Caleb Joseph

Austin Wynns

Chance Sisco deserves the job, however, the Orioles want him to continue working on his defense in AAA. I don’t agree, but I understand. Wynns is a defense-first catcher who was added to the 40-man this winter to protect him from the Rule-5 draft. Despite being an above-average defender, his bat came around with AA Bowie last season. He hit .281 with a .377 OBP while contributing 30 extra-base hits (10 home runs). With no reason to repeat AA, and no playing time available in AAA, making the major league roster makes sense.

Can The Pitching Staff Improve For The Baltimore Orioles?

Dylan Bundy

Kevin Gausman

Andrew Cashner

Chris Tillman

Mike Wright, Jr

Wright has pitched very well this spring and is out of options. Gabriel Ynoa has imploded in his two starts, and no one else seems to have stepped up to challenge Wright. Wright is making adjustments to his pitches that have been effective, up to this point. He will get a shot, but be placed on a very short leash. For a more in-depth look at Wright’s spring, you can check this piece out

Will The Bullpen Return As A Strength?

Brad Brach

Mychal Givens

Darren O’Day

Richard Bleier

Miguel Castro

Nestor Cortes

Pedro Araujo

Araujo, a Rule-5 draft pick from the Cubs, is a high-strikeout starter-turned-reliever who possesses an above average fastball and a plus-curveball. He found success after making the transition to the bullpen and has pitched three scoreless frames this spring. The Orioles can’t keep four Rule-5 players on the roster, so Jose Mesa, Jr. will more than likely head back to the Yankees (5 runs allowed in 3.2 innings this spring). Araujo will stay because of his massive upside, while Cortes remains as the spot-starter, long-reliever after losing out on the final rotation spot to Wright.

What do you all think? Anyone else you believe deserves a spot on the 25-man roster?

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Author Details
What’s up Armchair All-American readers. My name is Nick Stevens and I call the great state of Virginia home. I’ve been an avid Orioles’ fan since childhood. The first time I ever went to Camden Yards I saw Sidney Ponson pitch and was convinced he was an amazing pitcher. Luckily, my baseball IQ and tastes have developed. I’m a teacher, turned writer, who is enjoying every second of this journey. When I’m not watching baseball, which is a rarity, I’m watching mid-major college sports. Welcome to baseball season folks. Grab a Natty Boh and let’s talk Orioles’ baseball. See you at Camden Yards!
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What’s up Armchair All-American readers. My name is Nick Stevens and I call the great state of Virginia home. I’ve been an avid Orioles’ fan since childhood. The first time I ever went to Camden Yards I saw Sidney Ponson pitch and was convinced he was an amazing pitcher. Luckily, my baseball IQ and tastes have developed. I’m a teacher, turned writer, who is enjoying every second of this journey. When I’m not watching baseball, which is a rarity, I’m watching mid-major college sports. Welcome to baseball season folks. Grab a Natty Boh and let’s talk Orioles’ baseball. See you at Camden Yards!
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3 COMMENTS

  1. Sending Sisco back is a mistake and makes little sense. Can Sisco get better coaching then in the big leagues and working with Joseph very day? This off-season has been worst than last year and that is saying something. This is a 75 win team TOPS and hopefully, Duquette gets his walking papers and Angelos sells before he passes. I can’t see John being any better at overseeing things. Duquette has been a disappointment and should have been fired after the 2015 fiasco.

  2. Buck’s comments after yesterday’s game indicate that Cortes might not stay. I could see Donnie Hart taking his spot on the 25-man roster. I don’t see the O’s signing anyone else unless there is a surprising release by another team. Our team is pretty much decided…for better or for worse.

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