While the Orioles work in spring training to round out a rotation that so far holds John Means, Alex Cobb, most likely Asher Wojciechowski and a bunch of questions, they also need to figure out what to do at Triple-A Norfolk.
They can’t finish that task until they know which starters are heading north with them.
There could be some cuts due to overflow. And we know that executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias is trying to sign one more veteran.
The Tides rotation has the potential to resemble a good crab cake. With very little filler.
Keegan Akin and Dean Kremer are expected to lead the group, with the former having an outside chance to stay with the Orioles. Bruce Zimmermann, Zac Lowther and Alex Wells also are solid possibilities, though manager Gary Kendall would be given four left-handers and that’s pretty unusual.
Unwritten rules are made to be bent.
Cody Sedlock had a nice bounceback season with Double-A Bowie and appears ready to take the next step. Michael Baumann is more likely to stay with the Baysox, his promotion coming later in the summer.
Is this the area where some cuts are made beyond the camp variety, with players let go because the space for them is lacking? Or do the Orioles need to hold onto a veteran or two as insurance in case of an injury? They don’t want to rush a prospect just to fill space.
Luis Ortiz didn’t get an invitation and it wasn’t lost in the mail. His stock has taken a mighty tumble.
Ortiz also would be ticketed for Norfolk if he stays in the organization, but he’s got to change some opinions.
Rule 5 picks Brandon Bailey and Michael Rucker don’t factor into the Tides discussion because they can’t be optioned unless they clear waivers and are rejected by their former organizations. The Astros and Cubs, respectively, would likely take them back. That’s usually the outcome.
Left-hander Wade LeBlanc, signed to a minor league deal, has a March opt-out date in his contract and probably would exercise it rather than be sent down. But that’s an assumption.
Norfolk could go with a six-man rotation, but that isn’t as prevalent at the highest level of a farm system. Maybe resort to piggyback system in order to use two starters in the same game.
The Orioles gladly will take pitching problems of the pleasant variety. A nice changeup during the rebuild.