Even though the Orioles' 2011 season begins tonight, the club has still not finalized its minor league rosters. The full season affiliates don't begin their seasons until next Thursday, April 7 (or Friday, April 8 in the case of Single-A Frederick).
What I wrote about Feb. 12 has pretty much come to pass. It certainly appears that the Triple-A Norfolk roster will be one with more veterans than in previous seasons and not many up-and-coming prospects.
One reason for that is Orioles manager Buck Showalter likes having some players, like Nick Green and Brendan Harris, with big league experience at the Triple-A level. Also, the O's just don't have too many top prospects knocking down the door to get to higher levels right now.
Yes, that is not a good thing.
It appears that Ryan Adams could start at Triple-A, but a lot of the Double-A Bowie roster from last year will likely return there, at least at the start. This could include players like Joe Mahoney, Tyler Henson, Brandon Waring and Caleb Joseph.
Mahoney clearly made a good impression in major league camp. But after playing just 52 games for the Baysox late last year, the big guy could return there next week. I also expect to see Mahoney get some starts in the outfield this year, as I've mentioned that before.
I had heard some talk that Chorye Spoone might crack the Triple-A rotation, but apparently that is not the case. It appears Steve Johnson and Spoone will be back with Bowie.
Ronnie Welty is a player that could move from Frederick to Bowie in the outfield. Billy Rowell is likely to get his first crack at Double-A at-bats this year.
If Adams goes to Triple-A, then Pedro Florimon at short and Greg Miclat at second could make up the Bowie middle infield.
Frederick could see players return as well with players like LJ Hoes, Tyler Townsend, Jacob Julius and Kyle Hudson perhaps heading back to Harry Grove Stadium.
Manny Machado still appears ticketed for Delmarva where he will start at shortstop for Ryan Minor's Shorebirds.
Two affiliates will play home exhibition games next Tuesday night as Norfolk hosts Norfolk State and Single-A Delmarva hosts Salisbury University.
When the full-season squads head north, the organization is expected to keep about 50 players or so in Sarasota for extended spring training workouts and games.