The Orioles’ four full-season minor league affiliates will open their seasons soon with Single-A Frederick starting next Friday and the other three clubs - at Triple-A Norfolk, Double-A Bowie and Single-A Delmarva - beginning new seasons on Thursday.
Before the rosters officially come out, here are some guesses about some of the pitchers we could see in each rotation and some possible position player assignments.
I’ve listed the 2012 draft picks by round.
Norfolk: Dan Duquette confirmed to me last night that four of the Tides’ starting pitchers will be, in some order, Zach Britton, Zach Clark, Jair Jurrjens and Freddy Garcia. Maybe Steve Johnson will join that group after an expected stay on the disabled list. Roch Kubatko wrote today that Clark could be the Tides’ opening night starter, but nothing has been announced yet.
Bowie: The Baysox’s season opening rotation will include three top pitching prospects in Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman (first round, 2012) and Mike Wright. I would expect they could be joined by Eddie Gamboa and Jake Pettit. Gamboa is one of the O’s pitchers that worked in spring training with Phil Niekro on adding a knuckleball to his repertoire.
Frederick: Eduardo Rodriguez, Devin Jones, Tyler Wilson and Zach Davies could be in this rotation. The Keys are expected to begin the year with a six-man group.
Delmarva: Josh Hader (19th round, 2012), Mark Blackmar, Branden Kline (second round, 2012), Brady Wager (ninth round, 2012) and Parker Bridwell look to be among the starters bound for Delmarva, which will also begin using a six-man rotation.
Kline was the club’s second-round pick last June. After pitching out of the bullpen at the University of Virginia, the Orioles have stretched him out to start this season.
Matt Hobgood and Mychal Givens are expected to start in the Shorebirds’ bullpen and could be joined by Williams Louico, Miguel Chalas and Jose Nivar there.
Christian Walker (fourth round, 2012) is expected to start at first base with Adrian Marin (third round, 2012) at short at Delmarva. In the Shorebirds’ outfield we could see Roderick Bernadina, Gregory Lorenzo and Anthony Vega (30th round, 2012). Jason Esposito should be the first baseman at Fredeick with Nicky Delmonico at third. Kyle Hudson is expected to be the center fielder at Bowie.
Norfolk could have a host of position players coming down from Baltimore, including Conor Jackson, Russ Canzler, Lew Ford, Danny Valencia, Xavier Avery, LJ Hoes, Jason Pridie and Travis Ishikawa, to name a few.