Orioles lineup and notes on Opening Day

BOSTON – Orioles manager Brandon Hyde posted his first lineup of the 2023 season with Ramón Urías and Adam Frazier in the infield and Gunnar Henderson serving as designated hitter.

Kyle Stowers is the odd man out, beginning the game on the bench while the Red Sox start right-hander Corey Kluber.

Urías is playing third base, Austin Hays is in right field and Anthony Santander is in left – in front of the Green Monster.

Asked in the dugout this morning about starting Urías at third, Hyde said, “Well, I’ve got Kyle Gibson on the mound and Urías won the Gold Glove at third base last year and Jorge Mateo should have won the Gold Glove at shortstop, so I feel pretty good about the left side of our infield. Obviously, I want Gunnar’s bat in the lineup.

“These guys are going to move around quite a bit. When we face (Chris) Sale, it’s going to be different, when we face (Tanner) Houck, it’s going to be different. So, it’s going to be pretty much starting-pitcher-against-us-dependent, with also who we have on the mound. But all these guys are going to play.”

The day began with the Orioles announcing their 26-man roster. The last two bullpen spots went to Mike Baumann and Logan Gillaspie. Joey Krehbiel was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after breaking camp with the team last spring and staying until late September.

“We saw Gillaspie a little bit last year,” Hyde said. “He had a great spring training. His stuff has ticked up, I love his mentality, and he’s been throwing the ball extremely well.”

Gillaspie appeared in seven games and allowed an unearned run with two walks and 10 strikeouts in seven innings. His long shot status kept improving along with his results and stuff.

“I was waiting for a tap on the shoulder and go to the office, but the longer that I was there I was like, ‘Oh my God, I might actually make it,’” he said.

“I didn’t know really what would happen. I made sure in the offseason I was getting ready, and I wanted to be at the top of my game when I showed up to spring training, so then, that’s what I did.

“It means a lot, like they trust me, they believe in me. That’s about it. Go out and do my thing like I’ve been doing.”

Gillaspie, 25, had a few rides on the Triple-A shuttle last summer. He got into 17 games with the Orioles and allowed six earned runs and 20 hits in 17 1/3 innings.

“I think last year when I was up here, I was trying to focus on throwing strikes and not trying to throw it by everyone like I did in ’21,” he said, “so I was just trying to blow it by everyone.”

The news of his inclusion on the 26-man roster blew away Gillaspie, who said he was at a loss for words.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, it finally happened,’” he said.

“They told me to plan on going to Boston, so I was kind of like expecting maybe I might get sent down, maybe I won’t. I don’t know. I just showed up, I’m here.”

The Orioles decided to pull Baumann from the starter competition and use him in short spurts out of the ‘pen. He didn’t allow a run in five outings.

“Fastball velocity rose, strike-throwing ability got a little higher,” Hyde said. “Just thought his stuff improved by putting him in the bullpen, and we were hoping that would happen. We feel like Mike’s got a chance to be a really good reliever, so we’re breaking with him.”

Hyde said optioning Joey Krehbiel was difficult, but the bullpen ran out of space.

“A lot of us are very tight with Joey Krehbiel, and I assume he’s going to be back with us soon,” Hyde said. That was a tough conversation. Joey’s thought really highly of in this group. Hopefully, he’ll be back with us soon.”

Danny Coulombe is the third left-hander with Cionel Pérez and Keegan Akin. The Orioles acquired him from the Twins for cash considerations on the last day of spring training.

Coulombe, 33, said he felt “a little bit of shock” after learning of the trade.

“You have everything planned to be in one place and then baseball takes you in a different place, but I’m really excited to be here,” he said.

“Whatever they need. I think I can come in and just be a veteran. I’m one of the oldest guys on this team, it’s pretty different from my other situations, but just come in and just compete and show guys how to work daily and be a good influence.”

Coulombe faced the Orioles three times in spring training and didn’t allow a run. They were held to two hits.

“We didn’t have a whole lot of success against him,” Hyde said. “It’s added a lefty to our bullpen, so now we have three, which we feel like is important early in the season. And a guy who’s been around, a guy who’s done it before, so excited about adding him.”

“I pitched pretty well against them, so you just never know,” Coulombe said. “This game is funny, man. You never know who’s watching. There’s always people, scouts in the stands from every team. Probably my three best outings of the year were against Baltimore.

“I improved my stuff a little bit. I worked on some stuff in the offseason, how to improve my slider and be more consistent, and I think that was the difference. Last year, I got hurt, I was not fully healthy, and I think that was one of the reasons why I was having some command issues. But I’m fully healthy now, I feel like I’ve matured as a pitcher, and start throwing more strikes.”

Backup catcher James McCann, on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Monday with a left oblique strain, is beginning baseball activities on Friday.

“From there, hopefully, no setbacks,” Hyde said. “We’re hoping it’s going to be a week or two weeks.”

“It’s getting better,” McCann said. “Every day it’s gotten better. We’re progressing in the right direction.”

Just not fast enough to keep McCann, who missed the last week of exhibition games, on the active roster.

“Just the timing of it is the worst part,” he said. “It’s not a major thing. If it had happened the first week of camp, you all probably would have never known it, but here we are. Eight days before camp broke or whatever it was, and unfortunately, it’s created a setback.”

McCann tried hitting off a tee in Sarasota and the session went “OK,” he said. Good but not great. And that sealed his fate.

“That’s kind of when it (decision) was made that the smart thing to do is to take care of it, knock it out, and not try to push through it,” he said.

“I think it’s going to be shorter versus longer, but it’s kind of day-to-day. Obliques are funny. There’s not just a set … I’ve said this numerous times, with a sprained ankle I’d tape it up and here we go, but with an oblique you can’t really do that. We’re leaning toward the shorter end of things, but it’s just kind of day-to-day and see where we’re at.”

McCann endured two prolonged stints on the injured list with the Mets last year, fracturing the hamate bone in his left hand and straining his left oblique a little more than two weeks after returning.

“I was really blessed for seven years of my career,” he said. “Spent like 10 days on the injured list. Last year I dealt with a lot. Overcoming those injuries, you learn to find positives where you can, and I can’t wait to get back and help these guys win.”

The nameplate above McCann's locker has his first name printed as "Jamie". The Orioles hope it's the only glitch to begin their run toward the playoffs.

“I’m looking forward to the season,” Hyde said. “I'm ready for this to start. I thought we had a really good spring training, I thought we made some big progress. Guys improved over the course of the year last year and into spring training this year, so I’m looking forward to watching them play.”

For the Orioles
Cedric Mullins CF
Adley Rutschman C
Anthony Santander LF
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Gunnar Henderson DH
Ramón Urías 3B
Austin Hays RF
Adam Frazier 2B
Jorge Mateo SS

Kyle Gibson RHP

A look at Triple-A Norfolk's break-camp roster
Orioles option Krehbiel and set 26-man roster

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.masnsports.com/