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2017 Orioles Spring Training Preview: Who Comes Next?

February 15, 2017
See Also: Injury Report  |  Position Battles  |  Projected 25-Man Roster    

Barring injuries, much of the roster is set, but there are several players, both on the 40-man roster and some not, who could conceivably make an impact on the 2017 Orioles.

A few of these players have a chance to start the season with the team, but as the recent years have shown, major impact players are often not on the team when the season begins.

Christopher Lee

Lee is a left-handed pitcher, who is on the 40-man roster but is expected to start the season at Norfolk. Lee had a strong start with Bowie a year ago, but he didn't pitch after May 23 due to a late injury. The Orioles thought he could have been a contributor late last season, and the injury pushed back the timetable a year. At the very least, the Orioles are expecting Lee to be in the starting rotation conversation a year from now. 

Jesus Liranzo

Last year was a breakout season for the soon-to-be 22-year-old right-hander. He pitched brilliantly for Single-A Delmarva and skipped Class-A Frederick. After pitching well for Bowie, Liranzo was placed on the 40-man roster. He could begin the season at Norfolk, and if there's an opening in the Orioles' bullpen, he could get an early call-up. 

Parker Bridwell

Bridwell, a 25-year-old right-hander, has been in the Orioles' organization since 2010 and was stuck at Delmarva for three years. He finally made his major league debut last August, and though he wasn't around for the September playoff push, Bridwell could be back later this season. The Orioles have a glut of right-handers with options: Logan Verrett, Tyler Wilson and Mike Wright are presumably all ahead of Bridwell, and so is Oliver Drake, who doesn't have options. Like Verrett, Wilson and Wright, Bridwell can start and relieve. 

Jason Garcia

Garcia and Verrett were Rule 5 draft picks in December 2014. Garcia stayed with the Orioles in 2015, though he spent nearly three months on the disabled list. He showed some incremental signs of progress late in 2015, but as a starter, Garcia had a disappointing season at Bowie in 2016. It's a big year for Garcia, who remains on the 40-man roster. He must show the Orioles he's worth the years they've already invested in him. 

Cody Sedlock

Sedlock, who was the top draft choice a year ago, pitched well for short-season Class-A Aberdeen and is slated to begin 2017 at Frederick. If he pitches well for the Keys, the right-hander could move quickly through the system and possibly be a September consideration. 

Chance Sisco

The Orioles are hoping Sisco, who was their second-round pick in 2013, is their catcher for 2018 and beyond. Sisco has hit well in the minor leagues with a .323 batting average and .402 OBP. The question is his defense, and after spring training, Sisco, who is not on the 40-man roster, is slated to go to Norfolk and work on his catching. While Welington Castillo has a player option for 2018, a good defensive showing by Sisco this season could convince the team he's ready for full-time duty next year. Sisco could be a September call-up. 

Audry Perez

Perhaps the most solid defensive catcher in the Orioles' organization, Perez will be in spring training, but he isn't on the 40-man roster. Perez played three games for St. Louis throughout two seasons (2013-14) and is back for a third year, presumably at Norfolk. If the Orioles have an injury or two behind the plate, Perez could get a call later this season. 

Robert Andino

One of the most beloved characters in recent Orioles history, Andino returned to the team on a minor league contract just before spring training began. Andino, who helped turn around the franchise's history with a game-winning single that knocked the Boston Red Sox out of the 2011 playoffs, projects to be Norfolk's starting shortstop. He probably will play a lot during spring training, while Jonathan Schoop and Manny Machado are playing for Team Netherlands and Team Dominican Republic, respectively 

Johnny Giavotella

Giavotella signed a minor league contract with the Orioles in early February, and should Jonathan Schoop be injured, could slide in at second base. He has six years of major league experience with the Royals and Angels but is limited in the field. Giavotella could help himself by playing more in the outfield and at short and third during spring training.

Issue 230: February 2017