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2017 Orioles Spring Training Preview: Projected 25-Man Roster

February 15, 2017
See Also: Injury Report  |  Position Battles  |  Who Comes Next?  

At FanFest Jan. 28, manager Buck Showalter said because the Orioles have three open days during the season's first week, and because a fifth starter won't be needed until April 15, he may start the season with 10 or 11 pitchers, instead of the normal 12.

Let's guess Showalter will begin with 11 pitchers and 14 position players:

Pitchers - Starters (5)
RHP Chris Tillman
RHP Kevin Gausman
RHP Dylan Bundy
LHP Wade Miley
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez

Pitchers - Relievers (6)
RHP Brad Brach
LHP Zach Britton
RHP Oliver Drake
RHP Mychal Givens
LHP Donnie Hart RHP Darren O'Day

Barring injuries, the five starters are set and so are Brach, Britton, Givens, Hart and O'Day. If the Orioles started with 12 pitchers, I would guess right-hander Logan Verrett would be the 12th. Drake is included because he's out of options.

Catchers (2)
Welington Castillo
Caleb Joseph

The Orioles designated backup catcher Francisco Pena for assignment Feb. 10, so Joseph will likely backup Castillo..

Infielders (6)
1B Chris Davis
UT Ryan Flaherty
SS J.J. Hardy
3B Manny Machado
1B Trey Mancini
2B Jonathan Schoop

For the fourth consecutive year, the Orioles will have Davis at first, Schoop at second, Hardy at short and Machado at third. Flaherty will begin his sixth season as a backup infielder who can also play the outfield.
Mancini, whose best position is first base, probably won't get much time there and will likely be the designated hitter on occasion. If Showalter decides to start with 12 pitchers, Mancini could begin the season at Norfolk, and if the Orioles begin with 11, he could go back to the Tides even if he breaks camp with the team.

Outfielders (6)
Adam Jones
Hyun Soo Kim
Joey Rickard
Seth Smith
Aneury Tavarez
Mark Trumbo

Kim will probably play a little more often against left-handers this season. He and Rickard could platoon in left. Smith, who hits left-handed, will play right field against right-handers, while Trumbo is in right against left-handers. Trumbo would be the designated hitter when Smith plays right.

Tavarez is a Rule 5 draft pick the Orioles may want to get a look at, especially early in the season.

Even though Showalter hasn't decided on a leadoff hitter, here's a lineup you could see used often:

1. Adam Jones CF
2. Hyun Soo Kim LF
3. Manny Machado 3B
4. Chris Davis 1B
5. Mark Trumbo DH
6. Seth Smith RF
7. Welington Castillo C
8. Jonathan Schoop 2B
9. J.J. Hardy SS

Issue 230: February 2017