More thoughts on the roster

Hunter Harvey has been playing catch at the Orioles’ minor league complex while recovering from a mild groin strain. He’s feeling much better and it shouldn’t be too long before he’s back on the mound.

Harvey was forced out of Tuesday’s start at Twin Lakes Park in the third inning. He hasn’t pitched since 2014 due to a strained right flexor mass.

And that’s how I start off your morning with good news.

The Orioles’ camp roster is down to 29 players and we know that pitchers Kevin Gausman and Brian Matusz and infielder Jimmy Paredes are headed to the disabled list.

orioles-dugout-sidebar.jpgYou can do the math. That’s 26 players for 25 spots.

Vance Worley started last night in Philadelphia and worked two innings before rain interrupted his outing. He’s still competing for the job as fifth starter or for a spot in the bullpen. He’s also due to make $2.6 million if the Orioles put him on their opening day roster.

I didn’t think he had much of a chance after the Orioles signed Yovani Gallardo, but they released Miguel Gonzalez and Matusz strained a muscle in his lower back. They outrighted Chaz Roe yesterday. The Vanimal is alive and well.

I also never would have guessed that Xavier Avery would be among the last 26 standing. He’s won over manager Buck Showalter with his power, speed and defense. Those traits will get you in good standing.

Avery missed some time this spring with a hip flexor and I just assumed he’d be headed to minor league camp. The media checked on him a couple of mornings, but not because he was deemed to have a solid shot at running down the orange carpet on opening day.

Funny how things can change.

With Matusz on the disabled list and Zach Phillips in Norfolk, the Orioles could remain in the market for a left-handed reliever. Showalter warned after Phillips signed that they’d take a look at him and he wasn’t automatically going to make the club as Matusz’s replacement. And sure enough ...

Closer Zach Britton and long man T.J. McFarland don’t qualify as left-handed match-up guys.

Hyun Soo Kim may not qualify as a major league outfielder, but he still could make the club despite his .178 average and .402 OPS. A source last night confirmed that the Orioles have no intention of releasing Kim and eating his $7 million salary. Kim has no interest in a minor league assignment.

One person with the Orioles said they’re in a “state of suspended animation” regarding Kim. I’ve also been told that he has a “substantial” offer from a team in Korea, though it hasn’t been confirmed by a second source.

It doesn’t really matter, since he wants to stay in the U.S. and be given a legitimate chance to play in the majors.

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