When and if the season begins, the Orioles will have to reduce from their current roster of 50 to an undetermined number. Teams could begin the season with 29 or perhaps 30 players, so let’s see who has a good shot to be on the roster.
This was supposed to be the first season of the 26-man roster with a limit of 13 pitchers, and there would be even more allowed on an expanded roster.
Sure things (starters): John Means, Alex Cobb, Asher Wojciechowski and Wade LeBlanc
Sure thing (relievers): Shawn Armstrong, Richard Bleier, Miguel Castro, Paul Fry, Mychal Givens, Hunter Harvey
In the running (starters): Tommy Milone, Kohl Stewart
In the running (relievers): Cody Carroll, Paul Hanhold, Branden Kline, Travis Lakins, Tanner Scott, Cole Sulser, Dillon Tate, Hector Velázquez
Long shots: Ty Blach, Thomas Eshelman, Chandler Shepherd, Rob Zastryzny, Bruce Zimmermann
Summing it up: Means was on track to be the Opening Day starter with Cobb, Wojciechowski and LeBlanc following.
Milone was in the lead for the fifth starter position, but Stewart had a late start because of biceps soreness.
The six incumbent relievers seem secure, and in the days before spring training abruptly ended, manager Brandon Hyde had said complimentary things about Carroll and Hanhold.
Hanhold and Kline aren’t on the 40-man roster, and Velázquez hadn’t pitched for the team since he was acquired four days before the end of camp.
Zimmermann was going to start on March 12 when the game was canceled.
Sure thing: Pedro Severino
In the running: Bryan Holaday, Chance Sisco, Austin Wynns
Long shot: Taylor Davis
Summing it up: Severino was last year’s incumbent, and nothing happened in the month in Sarasota to make anyone believe otherwise.
Sisco didn’t hit well and was hampered with a sore right hand. Holaday, who’s not on the 40-man roster, is an ideal backup. He has eight years of experience but has never been a regular. Sisco’s advantage is that he’s left-handed. Wynns is a dependable backup.
Sure things: Hanser Alberto, Chris Davis, José Iglesias, Renato Nunez, Rio Ruiz
In the running: Richie Martin, Andrew Velázquez, Pat Valaika, Stevie Wilkerson
Long shots: Dilson Herrera, José Rondon, Richard Urena
Summing it up: Martin has played some second as well as shortstop in camp, but he was likely to begin the season at Triple-A Norfolk. Velázquez impressed with his speed and versatility. He can serve as a backup centerfielder. Valaika showed an impressive bat. Count Wilkerson out at your own risk. He can play every infield and outfield position.
Valaika and Wilkerson would have to be added to the 40-man.
Sure things: Austin Hays, Anthony Santander, Dwight Smith Jr.
In the running: Wilkerson, DJ Stewart, Mason Williams
Long shot: Yusniel Diaz
Summing it up: Stewart had yet to play when camp ended because he was still rehabbing his surgically repaired right ankle, but when the Orioles reconvene, he should be a full-go. Williams can play all three outfield positions. Diaz was still in camp because he got a late start because of a shoulder injury, and the Orioles wanted to see some more at-bats from him.
To be determined: Trey Mancini, Evan Phillips
Summing it up: Mancini had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his colon on March 12. His treatment schedule and when he’ll be cleared for baseball activities isn’t known.
Phillips has rested his sore right elbow for an extended time.
Mancini and Phillips would have begun the season on the injured list.
Ed Farmer dies: Chicago White Sox broadcaster Ed Farmer died Wednesday night at 70. Farmer, who called White Sox games on radio for 30 years, had an 11-year major league career as a pitcher, including one game with the Orioles in 1977.
Farmer also scouted for the Orioles and Ben McDonald, the overall No. 1 pick in 1989, credited Farmer with drafting him on Twitter.
My heart is broken…I called him Uncle Ed…a man who taught me so much on and off the field as well as broadcasting. Drafted me out of college when he was with the @Orioles and always enjoyed our talks when we played the @whitesox …Uncle Ed..RIP… I love you! #SaltOfTheEarth https://t.co/kN7wygMRyK
— Ben McDonald (@realbenmcdonald) April 2, 2020