The Orioles 25-Man Roster: Set in Play-Doh


By Meghan - Posted on 04 April 2012

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Spring Training officially came to a close yesterday for the Baltimore Orioles, which means that the best day of the year (OPENING DAY) is only 2 days away. FINALLY!

Barring any crazy injuries that occur during snack service on the flight to Norfolk, the 25-Man Roster is set. I now have the opportunity to reflect on my pre-season predictions and see how well I did, or how totally off I was.

Overall, I was pretty spot-on. Even though competition seemed to be preached throughout camp, there weren't that many surprises in regards to one player getting chosen over another.

STARTING ROTATION:

My Picks (in no particular order):

Tommy Hunter
Jason Hammel
Zach Britton
Jake Arrieta
Wei-Yin Chen

Who Made the Cut:

Jake Arrieta
Tommy Hunter
Jason Hammel
Wei-Yin Chen
Brian Matusz

Barring Zach Britton’s injury, I would have been spot on in my picks. Brian Matusz made Orioles fans breathe a sigh of relief by showcasing improved velocity and control, and fought for that fifth rotation spot. Jake Arrieta was by far the most consistent starting candidate and deserves the OD nod. Wei-Yin Chen also had a pretty impressive camp, minus his last start where he got lit up.

BULLPEN:

My Picks:

Pedro Strop
Jim Johnson
Tsuyoshi Wada
Luis Ayala
Dana Eveland
Matt Lindstrom
Kevin Gregg
Brad Bergesen/Jason Berken/Darren O’Day (One of the three… But God help us if it is all three at any point.)

Who Made the Cut:

Luis Ayala
Kevin Gregg
Jim Johnson
Matt Lindstrom
Troy Patton
Zach Phillips
Pedro Strop

To start the season, Buck Showalter decided to go with a 12-man pitching staff as opposed to 13. I’m highly upset that we couldn’t find a sucker to take Kevin Gregg off of our hands, as I don’t see him providing any relief this season. Tsuyoshi Wada, who was placed on the 15-Day DL, will be eligible to return to the team on April 12th. Expect Zach Phillips, who was acquired for Nick Green last year, to be sent to Norfolk for Wada.

UPDATE: So Buck threw me a curveball and sent Zach Phillips to AAA, meaning Darren O'Day did in fact make the club, which means that I was only off on one of my bullpen pitchers (since Wada will be added when he can come off of the DL). Woop woop!

CATCHERS:

My Picks:

Matt Wieters
Taylor Teagarden

Who Made the Cut:

Matt Wieters
Ronny Paulino

Not a huge deal, but an ironic one. How funny is it that the Orioles actually TRADED for Teagarden to back up Wieters, and he will start the season on the DL, while the dude who couldn’t make it to work on time because he couldn’t work out his visa issues won the job? The Baltimore Orioles, ladies and gentlemen.

INFIELDERS:

My Picks:

Nick Johnson – 1B
Robert Andino – 2B
JJ Hardy – SS
Mark Reynolds – 3B
Chris Davis – B
Wilson Betemit – B

Who Made the Cut:

Nick Johnson – 1B
Robert Andino – 2B
JJ Hardy – SS
Mark Reynolds – 3B
Chris Davis – B
Wilson Betemit – B
Ryan Flaherty – B

I was almost 100% on my prediction of the infielders – Minus Ryan Flaherty, of course. He definitely earned a spot on the team, and a Rule 5 pick is always a feel-good story. Remember the last Rule 5 pick that made a decent impact on our team? Jay Gibbons – PEDs and all!

As I stated in my preview, I hope that Buck sticks to giving 26-year old Chris Davis consistent reps at 1B, while Nick Johnson fills in every couple of days/is a late-inning replacement. Brian Roberts was only placed on the 15-Day DL as well, which is not to say that he will be ready to return any time soon, but the option for him to get his job back is looking a bit more realistic. The moves will be interesting when that day comes, as Flaherty must stay on the 25-man all season or be sent back to his original team, and the other eligible people would probably have to clear waivers before being sent down. There’s always the option of a trade, as well.

OUTFIELDERS:

My Picks:

Nick Markakis - RF
Adam Jones - CF
Nolan Reimold - LF
Endy Chavez – 4OF

Who Made the Cut:

Nick Markakis - RF
Adam Jones - CF
Nolan Reimold - LF
Endy Chavez – 4OF

Boom. That was an Open & Shut case right there. #ReimTime

It is sure to be a crazy season here in Baltimore. Lots of questions are sure to be answered as the season goes on: Will Brian Roberts return as the fleet-footed 2B that Baltimore grew to love? How will the rotation pan out after the first month? Can Kevin Gregg be traded to Milwaukee for a case of Miller Lite?

Stay tuned, my friends.

(Side Note: Look out for me & some of the IHJJR/Ravens 24x7 Crew on Opening Day! We like beer!)

* Photo Courtesy of Flickr

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