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2014 Orioles Spring Training Preview: Projected 25-man Roster

February 17, 2014

Projecting an Opening Day 25-man roster for the 2014 season is a more difficult task than it was for seasons past, especially for the bench and bullpen. With so many players of similar skill sets in camp, the O's could go in any number of directions with some of their backups. 

Orioles 2013: Zach Britton
Photo Credit: Sabina Moran/PressBox

But here's an early prediction of which group of players will be jogging down the orange carpet for the March 31 regular-season opener.

Starting Lineup (nine)
C Matt Wieters
1B Chris Davis
2B Ryan Flaherty
3B Manny Machado
SS J.J. Hardy
LF David Lough
CF Adam Jones
RF Nick Markakis
DH Henry Urrutia

Bench (four)
IF Alexi Casilla
C Steve Clevenger
OF Francisco Peguero
OF Nolan Reimold

Starting Rotation (five)
RHP Chris Tillman
LHP Wei-Yin Chen
RHP Miguel Gonzalez
RHP Bud Norris
LHP Zach Britton

Bullpen (seven)
RHP Alfredo Aceves
LHP Kelvin De La Cruz
LHP Brian Matusz
RHP Darren O'Day
RHP Josh Stinson
RHP Ryan Webb
RHP Tommy Hunter (closer)

For the bench, I'm predicting Clevenger beats Johnny Monell for the backup catcher job, and that Peguero -- who can play all three outfield positions -- wins a spot as the fourth outfielder. If Reimold is healthy (which is, admittedly, a big if), I expect him to have a place on the team, beating out Steve Pearce and Delmon Young. I'll also give Casilla the edge to repeat his 2013 role as utility infielder, which would have Jemile Weeks ticketed for Triple-A Norfolk.

I'm optimistically projecting Machado to be healthy in time for Opening Day, but if he's not, that would add another wrench to the works, opening a spot for another infielder, such as Weeks or even Michael Almanzar.

On the pitching side, I think the O's would like to give the out-of-options Britton every opportunity to make the team, or else they'll risk losing him. Stinson, too, could be lost on waivers if he doesn't make the team, and he pitched well in relief in September 2013. I'll give the other bullpen spots to De La Cruz, a southpaw who can fill in for the suspended Patton, and Aceves, a troubled, but talented, reliever with major league closing experience.

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