Approach the bench

It's much too early to break down the Orioles' 25-man roster. This team will need a first baseman - it's in the rules - or a new designated hitter. The bullpen is incomplete.

However, as I sat here last night, I thought about the potential composition of the bench. Cesar Izturis appears to have a spot as a reserve middle infielder. Brendan Harris and Robert Andino are expected to compete for another utility spot (Harris isn't on the 40-man roster, Andino is out of minor league options.)

The Orioles will carry a backup catcher - it's also in the rules - and an extra outfielder. As it currently stands, Nolan Reimold or Felix Pie would be that outfielder, depending on which one is in the lineup.

Can this team really afford to include Izturis, Harris/Andino and Craig Tatum on its roster? That doesn't give manager Buck Showalter many pinch-hitting options late in games.

Jake Fox offers more pop than Tatum, so he could be the backup behind Matt Wieters if the Orioles are comfortable with his defense and handling of pitchers. And he's versatile enough to play other positions.

I hadn't considered the possibility of the infield signings impacting Tatum, but I'm starting to wonder.

Again, it's early, but I'm curious how the Orioles will make this work if they go with a 12-man pitching staff (as expected) and carry four reserves.

Shameless plug alert: A few minutes ago, I suddenly remembered that I was appearing on Wall to Wall Baseball with Tom Davis, Dave Johnson and Phil Wood, beginning at 11 a.m. on MASN and ESPN 1300 AM. My heart stopped as I looked at the clock. I slept later than usual and totally forgot about it, but a quick shower should get me on the road in time.

Hopefully, the traffic is better today.

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