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2015 Orioles Spring Training Preview: Projected 25-man Roster

February 16, 2015

The 2014 season saw the Orioles win 96 games, clinch their first American League East title in 17 years and make a run to the American League Championship Series. Yet, as they report to 2015 spring training in Sarasota, Fla., the O's still have their fair share of questions to try to answer at camp. How will their injury-rehabbing stars fare? Can they find quality options to replace key 2014 contributors Nelson Cruz, Nick Markakis and Andrew Miller, who left the team as free agents? Let's take a closer look at some of the Birds' top storylines for spring training.

Injury Report | Position BattlesNon-Roster Invitees | Projected Roster

The Orioles Projected 25-Man Roster

Despite the Orioles' offseason free-agent departures, they'll still begin spring training with well more than 25 players who can make a strong case for an Opening Day roster spot. Here's one guess at how it'll shake out.

Orioles 2014: Opening Day
Photo Credit: Mitch Stringer/PressBox

Starting lineup (nine)

C Matt Wieters

LF Alejandro De Aza

1B Chris Davis*

CF Adam Jones

2B Jonathan Schoop

RF Travis Snider

3B Manny Machado

DH Steve Pearce

SS J.J. Hardy

Bench (four)

IF Ryan Flaherty

C Caleb Joseph

OF David Lough

OF Delmon Young

Starting rotation (five)

RHP Chris Tillman 

LHP Wei-Yin Chen

RHP Bud Norris

RHP Kevin Gausman

RHP Ubaldo Jimenez

Bullpen (seven)

RHP Brad Brach

RHP Miguel Gonzalez

RHP Tommy Hunter

LHP Brian Matusz

RHP Darren O'Day

LHP Wesley Wright

LHP Zach Britton (closer)

The asterisk next to Davis' name indicates that he'll miss Opening Day to serve the final game of the 25-game amphetamine suspension he received in September 2014. He is eligible to return to the roster in time for the Orioles' second game. So one unlucky Oriole could have the privilege of cracking the Opening Day roster, only to get dumped the next day when Davis returns.

This projected roster assumes Machado and Wieters will both be healthy enough to break camp with the team. If either suffers a setback in spring training, though, the equation changes. A Machado disabled list stint would create a need for an extra infielder such as Jimmy Paredes or newcomer Rey Navarro, while Wieters' absence would open a starting spot for Joseph and a backup gig for J.P. Arencibia or Steve Clevenger.

Among the Orioles' six starting pitchers, the versatile Gonzalez is most likely to draw the short straw, getting bumped to the bullpen until a rotation spot opens up. That, in turn, will bump a veteran reliever off the roster -- perhaps Webb, who is a strong trade candidate. The bullpen roster crunch could also lead lefty McFarland to start the year at Triple-A Norfolk, and it'll be tough for either Rule 5 draft pick (Logan Verrett and Jason Garcia) to make the team.

Issue 206: February 2015