Just two and a half weeks before pitchers and catchers are due at the Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota. The media should get a better read on executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias’ plans for the roster when he speaks Friday before Day 2 of the caravan. How close it is to completion.
The waiver wire could bring disruptions to a set unit. Elias could orchestrate a trade in camp. But my question is whether there’s a specific area that he’s still addressing.
The rotation might be done with Kyle Gibson signing for $10 million and Elias acquiring left-hander Cole Irvin from the Athletics. But is he satisfied with the left-handed hitting alternatives at first base on days that Ryan Mountcastle rests or is used as the designated hitter?
Is he determined to sign another corner outfielder, geared more toward defensive skills?
Are any remaining moves done only to provide depth at the upper levels of the minors, which would explain first baseman Curtis Terry?
There’s more to wonder about than the roster, of course.
Have the Orioles, as I’ve suspected, decided to find their opening day starter within a camp scrum? Keeping an open mind but perhaps needing more convincing with Grayson Rodriguez than others because he’s never thrown a pitch in the majors.
Would the Orioles really back away from Irvin for the Red Sox series because he’s a left-hander pitching at Fenway Park?
Is the entire rotation up for grabs beyond Gibson and Irvin? The Orioles must have an idea how they can handle the overflow of starters, whether it’s by piggybacking or just having a few guys handle more traditional bullpen roles.
It’s worth double-checking whether they’d go to a six-man rotation.
Getting more specific, have role decisions been made on DL Hall, Tyler Wells and Austin Voth, or are they starters in camp with legitimate chances to make the rotation and then we’ll see how it shakes out? Does the same apply to Dean Kremer and Kyle Bradish?
If there are no injuries, does Rule 5 pick Andrew Politi still have a realistic shot at making the club as the eighth reliever? The Orioles won’t downplay it, but the math isn’t his friend.
Is Gunnar Henderson staying on the left side of the infield, which makes him the primary third baseman on a team with Jorge Mateo still on the roster? Henderson isn’t really needed at second base with Mateo, Adam Frazier, Ramón Urías and maybe Terrin Vavra available.
Where are we setting the over/under on Adley Rutschman’s starts behind the plate? Not his overall games, since he’s going to rotate into the DH spot and also could back up at first base.
Where are we setting the over/under on Anthony Santander’s starts in right field? Not his overall games, since he’s going to rotate into the DH spot and also could back up at first base.
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