What will the Orioles' 2019 roster look like? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

What will the Orioles’ 2019 roster look like?

Photo credit: Rick Scuteri - USA TODAY Sports

Oriole pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota, Fla. 27 days from today, and while a number of moves still could be made, let’s look at what a 25-man roster with the current players would look like.

Opening Day at Yankee Stadium is March 28.

Pitchers (12)

Starters: Dylan Bundy, Alex Cobb, Andrew Cashner, David Hess, Yefry Ramirez

The guess here is the Orioles will sign a veteran starter in the next several weeks to replace one of them, but these are the most logical choices for the starting rotation.

It’s going to be interesting to see who the Opening Day starter is. Bundy was last year’s starter. Cobb pitched well in the second half. He never was the Opening Day starter for Tampa Bay.

Relievers: Pedro Araujo, Richard Bleier, Miguel Castro, Paul Fry, Branden Kline, Mychal Givens, Tanner Scott.

The Orioles could go with 13 pitchers — eight relievers — but let’s assume seven.

Araujo must spend the first 17 days of the 2019 season with the Orioles to satisfy his Rule 5 requirements.


Kline, who had a 1.64 ERA with Double-A Bowie and High-A Frederick after missing two seasons because of injuries, was put on the 40-man roster for the first time.

Catchers (2)

Chance Sisco, Austin Wynns

Sisco must show huge improvement to a manager and coaching staff who have no ties to him. The Orioles have Carlos Perez and Martin Cervenka, neither of whom is on the 40-man roster, and both could see action this season.

It’s possible that the Orioles will sign another veteran catcher.

Infielders (6)

Chris Davis, Drew Jackson, Richie Martin, Renaldo Nunez, Jonathan Villar, Steve Wilkerson

If the Orioles go with 13 pitchers, then it’s possible that only five infielders will go north. Martin, pictured above, figures to be the starting shortstop. Jackson and Wilkerson would be utility players.

Outfielders (5)

Trey Mancini, Cedric Mullins, Joey Rickard, DJ Stewart, Mark Trumbo

Trumbo would be the designated hitter, and Stewart the right fielder. The guess here is that the Orioles will sign a veteran to play right field and that Stewart will return to Triple-A Norfolk to start the season.

Coaching Staff Taking Shape

The Orioles still haven’t announced their coaching staff, but it appears that six of the seven coaches are set.

Doug Brocail, who was the Texas Rangers pitching coach, will have the same job with the Orioles. He worked with Mike Elias in Houston, and for the last three seasons had been with Texas.

He brings with him a reputation as a hard-nosed coach.

News of Brocail’s hiring was reported by The Athletic and confirmed by an industry source.

Jose Flores will most likely coach third base, the infielders, and be the baserunning instructor. Arnie Beyeler is expected to coach first base and the outfielders. Don Long will be the hitting coach, and Tim Cossins, who worked with manager Brandon Hyde in Chicago, is expected to be the bench coach and work with the outfielders.

John Wasdin, who was the Orioles’ minor league pitching coordinator for the last two seasons, is expected to be the team’s bullpen coach.

An assistant hitting coach needs to be hired.

Calling all ballboys and ballgirls

The Orioles will hold tryouts for ballboys and ballgirls for the 2019 season on March 9 at Oriole Park. Judges include members of the team’s front office.

The team says it’s looking for “outgoing and athletic men and women ages 18 or older.”

Interested applicants should dress casually, bring their own gloves and use the Home Plate Plaza entrance to the ballpark. Free parking is available in Lot A.

Applicants should send their cover letter and resume, which includes their baseball or softball experience to [email protected]. Resumes will be accepted until March 1.

The Orioles say: “In addition to being able to handle a glove and field ground balls, interested candidates should be personable, customer-service oriented, and available to work throughout the 2019 baseball season.”

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. cedar

    January 16, 2019 at 8:06 am

    Nice look at the current state of the roster. Looking at the list of players And wondering about what pick ups the O’s will make during spring training, I also can’t help but wonder who are the most likely to be traded in July.

    Also a nice round up of the current coaching staff. Glad to finally see a pitching coach named. Brocail doesn’t elicit excitement but that he comes from a hitter friendly stadium in Texas, means he should at least has an idea of how to work with the pitchers and Camden Yards dimensions.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 16, 2019 at 2:09 pm

      I think the Brocail hire is a good one, Cedar.

    • Raymo

      January 16, 2019 at 9:59 pm

      Rich, would you please explain why you think it’s a good hire… What’s your reasoning? Thanks.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 16, 2019 at 10:16 pm

      Check this space tomorrow morning, Raymo.

  2. ClyOs

    January 16, 2019 at 8:39 am

    Rich, I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of the opening day roster. I would definitely, however, like to see a veteran catcher on the roster. Sisco and Wynns are both unproven at this points in their careers. They have played in a combined 115 major league games, with 288 official ABs. Last year Sisco made the opening day roster and was obviously the organizations heir apparent to replace Wieters, but just didn’t play up to the hype. Wynns was called up in June due to Sisco ineffectiveness and is now the Orioles top catcher, despite the fact he has a .255 batting average in 5 1/2 years in the minors. Somehow I’m just not getting a warm feel about those two being the only options at catcher.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 16, 2019 at 2:17 pm

      I did mention Perez and Cervenka, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a veteran catcher added, ClyOs.

  3. willmiranda

    January 16, 2019 at 10:06 am

    Nice survey, Rich. One question: What is “an industry source”? I understand it’s someone who can’t be
    named, but what does industry include? The Orioles, the league, agents, the union, media people, all of the above and then some?

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 16, 2019 at 2:34 pm

      You can eliminate media people from that list, Will.

  4. boss61

    January 16, 2019 at 10:08 am

    Hays makes the team potentially, IMO. Caleb is out there as a free agent option, until he is not. And a better bet than Sisco if so.

    • ClyOs

      January 16, 2019 at 12:39 pm

      Joseph’s familiar with the pitching staff, and is a positive influence in the locker room. But I honestly doubt Elias will pay him the $1.25 million he made last season. He would need to take a pay cut.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 16, 2019 at 2:36 pm

      I would be mildly surprised if Austin Hays makes the team just because he didn’t have much of a 2018, Mark. He could play plenty in the majors this year, but just not right away.

  5. Orial

    January 16, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    Roster looks accurate to me. I won’t be satisfied until Mancini is out of LF and the team goes total speed and defense.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 16, 2019 at 2:36 pm

      That may take a bit, Orial.

  6. BirdsCaps

    January 16, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    I have seen much worse (on paper) starting rotations for the birds. However, the rest of the roster (sans Mancini,Villar and Givens) looks like a 4A or maybe even 2A roster. It’s so bad that maybe they should include a clause In the ball boy contract that states “may activated to 40 man roster.”

    • willmiranda

      January 16, 2019 at 2:37 pm

      Maybe they could follow hockey and issue “two-way” contracts, where players are paid differently, depending on whether they play at the major or minor league levels. For a twist, the players could still be on the major league roster, and the fans could vote whether their performances were major or minor league.

      • Rich Dubroff

        January 16, 2019 at 2:39 pm

        Will, players are paid differently if they’re on the major league or minor league roster, unless they’re veterans.

        • willmiranda

          January 17, 2019 at 10:38 am

          Thanks for the clarification, Rich. You’ve aroused my curiosity. Is the roster the 25-man or 40-man? Aren’t all players but rookies veterans? I know these are technicalities, but they seem to have a big ripple effect.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 16, 2019 at 2:37 pm

      BirdsCaps. I’m guessing the real 25-man roster will look different because of acquisitions between now and Opening Day.

  7. PA Bird Lover

    January 16, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    They’re certainly is space for at least two veterans, which are needed to give solid advice, be mentors, show by example and teach. One for position guys and one on the pitching staff would do it. Will one of those veterans be Jones. If so, it’s clear to me he’d be an asset.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 16, 2019 at 2:40 pm

      PA, I think there’s room for more than two.

  8. Jacobs1928

    January 16, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    I can not understand why the O’s will not get rid of Davis and Trump…they are
    Losers…I would buy out both with reduced offers for example I would offer
    Davis $15 million rathercthen pay his contract…with lawyers owning this team
    They should be willing to take this chance because of poor performance…if necessary,
    Go to court….here in Baltimore. Where I think any jury would support the O’s.
    Do the same with Trumbo…if they are building then build not hold on to non-winners
    Who are not young future winners. Mancini should be 1st base not outfield.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 16, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      Bernie, we’ve gone over this before. Chris Davis is owed $110 million, including deferred money, and the Orioles will pay him all of that if he is released. Players contracts are guaranteed. He is not taking any less money unless he voluntarily retired, and I don’t see that happening.

      Trumbo has a one-year contract, and they’ll live with that.

      • Birdman

        January 16, 2019 at 5:10 pm

        Rich, agree that Orioles are legally on the hook for Davis’ full contract … according to reports, the best offer on the table for Machado (so far) is $175 million for 8 years, which makes the Davis $161 million fiasco even more painful.

        • BirdsCaps

          January 16, 2019 at 6:16 pm

          I agree it’s a no-brainer that the orioles are stuck with the davis contract. The next question that comes to mind would be is the organization better off without him on the field? On this matter, the orioles should strongly consider releasing Cash Davis. For example, look at Boston’s Pablo Sandoval contract. The red sox took 2 and half years to evaluate Sandoval and promptly released him. Would the 2018 red sox have won a world series with Kung Fu Panda taking up a roster spot?, probably not. Since Mancini is wasting his time in the OF (love his bat but he’s a liability in the of) with a bunch of youngsters waiting in line behind him (Mullins Hays etc,) they need to let Davis go. Also, this should be a lesson not to sign aging one dimensional players to absurd contracts regardless of the market for that player (multiple reports suggested Angelos outbid himself). Thank God we have a new GM and the Angelos kids at the helm.

          • Rich Dubroff

            January 16, 2019 at 6:37 pm

            BirdsCaps, it will be interesting to see how long a leash Chris Davis has with the new regime,

        • Rich Dubroff

          January 16, 2019 at 6:36 pm

          Contracts like Davis’ have served as a painful reminders to owners, Birdman.

      • Jacobs1928

        January 17, 2019 at 2:35 pm

        Rick …I understand the legal ramifications of a contract…..however, there are
        Reasons one might cancel a contract…let us assume one had a long term contract with a singer who was very good when contract signed ….but the voice
        Goes bad…so they cancel the contract because the singer can’t sing…We have the same with Davis and signed hitter who can’t hit…I would take this to court
        Based on his lack of performance…with all the owners as Lawyers it will not be
        Expensive to try to getting of him at lower costs. If they lose do what but if they win it would be a worthwhile effort.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 17, 2019 at 10:31 pm

      Bernie, all MLB contracts are guaranteed unless the player violates the law or a baseball rule. You can’t cut a player and not pay him because of poor performance.

      That has been negotiated between the players union and MLB.

      If a player is injured and can’t play, the contract must be paid.

      You’ve harped on this for weeks. It’s not going to happen. Davis will be paid in full.

  9. mlbbirdfan

    January 16, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    I’m a fanatic Orioles fan, since 1956; and, a partial season ticket holder who is part of a partnership with 81 game plan. (I go to 10-20 games each season and watch 80 to 100 games on TV) I’m absolutely thrilled with the new leadership and highly confident the future is bright! By 2022, we should be turning a corner – and perennially contending like Houston is now, no later than 2024. So, I have two questions. Is this roster going to lose more than 115 games in 2019? Isn’t that the goal? To get the first pick in the draft…in every round. And, is it going to be the worst Opening Day major league roster ever assembled? (Worst Orioles Opening Day roster? Not hard to imagine; even the atrocious 1954 roster won 54 and lost only 100 games.) My answers: probably yes, and emphatically yes.

    • mlbbirdfan

      January 16, 2019 at 4:51 pm

      Emphatically worst O’s Opening Day roster. Probably will lose 115 games.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 16, 2019 at 6:43 pm

      MLBBirdfan, the Orioles don’t seem to be putting a lot of emphasis on the major league roster in 2019, and this season looks to be a challenging one. As for worst Opening Day lineup, you may have a point there.

      • BirdsCaps

        January 16, 2019 at 7:06 pm

        There is only one upside to the impending malaise… CHEAP TICKETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Stub Hub Here I come. I am guessing weekday tix (against any team except Redsox or Yankees) will be about $10 for an upper deck seat behind home plate. If my prediction comes true, I will see a lot of baseball this summer. If only parking prices could drop a bit.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 16, 2019 at 10:17 pm

      BirdsCaps, parking prices are ridiculously cheap in Baltimore when compared with elsewhere.

  10. Bhoffman1

    January 17, 2019 at 9:44 am

    I don’t like the roster you are offering . If we are going to lose let’s lose with players who hopefully have a future on this team. We gave away our best players last year and none of the players we got in return are in your roster.

    • Rich Dubroff

      January 17, 2019 at 10:07 am

      Bhoffman, I predict that others who are not currently in the organization will be part of the Opening Day roster and that some of those received in the trades will play for the team later in 2019, just as they did in 2018.

    • Bhoffman1

      January 17, 2019 at 8:07 pm

      The sooner the better. It’s going to be ugly for awhile and I rather it be ugly with Stewart, Hays, Diaz and Mountcastle along with some of the pitchers we got in the trades. The Yankees add Octtavino , its so hard to complete against money teams like them and Boston. They never rebuild they just build

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