It’s workout day at Camden Yards, which should prove to be fairly uneventful with the 25-man roster being set.
There’s no more drama.
We know that Zach Phillips has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk despite being one of the best pitchers in camp. We know that the Orioles added Nick Johnson and Ronny Paulino to the 40-man roster. We know that Brian Matusz made the rotation. We know that Matusz is the No. 4 starter ahead of Wei-Yin Chen.
The bench was set weeks ago, though it didn’t become official until yesterday.
Once the Orioles stated that they were comfortable staying in-house for a backup catcher, we knew that Paulino had beaten the odds and made the team. Once Steve Tolleson and Matt Antonelli were reassigned to minor league camp, we knew that Ryan Flaherty was the utility infielder. Once Johnson made it through camp without a hamstring or wrist injury, we knew that he was going to be a designated hitter and part-time first baseman.
For me, the two surprises over the last few days were the Orioles’ willingness to lose Alfredo Simon on waivers and their decision to option Phillips.
I didn’t project Simon as part of the 12-man pitching staff during the winter. I kept saying that he was a candidate to be traded, since he was out of options, but the Orioles obviously couldn’t find a match. Teams were interested once Simon’s name appeared on the waiver wire, when they didn’t have to give up anything.
I should have trusted my instincts. Instead, I started to believe that he could make the team as a long reliever, since no one else fit that role.
Now he’s in the Reds’ bullpen.
Phillips will be in Baltimore at some point during the summer. He earned a spot on the team, but was placed at a disadvantage because he had an option remaining.
Darren O’Day appeared to drop out of the running after straining a groin muscle in camp - he made two appearances before March 24 - but he allowed only one run in his last four games and won a job.
We already knew that Tsuyoshi Wada was going on the disabled list, which further opened the rotation door for Matusz. I’m just wondering what happens when he’s activated. Does he replace whichever starter is struggling?
Will there only be one struggling pitcher to choose from?
The Orioles prefer to keep Wada in a starting role. What happens if he’s stretched out, but the rotation isn’t stretched thin?
What happens if Brian Roberts is ready to give it another shot? Will the Orioles have to return Flaherty to the Cubs, who most definitely would take him?
What’s going to happen to Dana Eveland?
If you’re a drama junkie, I guess this will have to suffice.
Update: Jai Miller has accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Norfolk and will be part of the Tides’ opening night roster tonight at Charlotte.