Reviewing the Orioles’ 40-man roster and upcoming decisions

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I accepted the challenge on Twitter yesterday of naming five jobs that I held before becoming a sportswriter, and discovered that I couldn’t complete the list.

I’ve literally only had five jobs:

* “Unskilled labor” for a construction company the summer before college, which I’m certain was suggested by my parents to ensure that I’d go to college.

* A clerk at Glen Burnie Bingo on Richie Highway, where I’d often clear $100 a night in tips - all sweaty $1 bills. My mother once asked if I was really working in a bingo hall. She seemed worried.

* Sports reporter at The Park News, a free weekly publication owned by the same people who owned the PennySaver and distributed to residents in the Severna Park and Arnold area. I was pretty much the entire sports department. It folded after one year.

* Sports reporter at The Baltimore Sun, beginning in the Anne Arundel County bureau before the zoned editions merged with the main paper.

* Sports reporter at MASN and since August 2008.

I couldn’t craft a resume unless taught how to do it. And hopefully that won’t be necessary before retirement.

(I don’t think it would be necessary after retirement, either. Who would want to read it?)

Anyway, the Orioles have 39 players on their 40-man roster after returning Rule 5 picks Brandon Bailey and Michael Rucker to the Astros and Cubs, respectively, and claiming reliever Hector Velázquez off waivers from the Red Sox. They’re going to create more openings eventually, though one of the many uncertainties is whether the active roster will expand from 26 following a long shutdown.

That is, if there’s actually a 2020 baseball season.

Non-roster players in camp who are expected to make the club include left-handers Wade LeBlanc and Tommy Milone, who would fit into a rotation that also includes John Means, Alex Cobb and Asher Wojciechowski.

Mason Williams became a favorite to stay with the Orioles as an extra outfielder or the primary right fielder depending on Trey Mancini’s availability. Williams outlasted Cedric Mullins, who was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk during the shutdown.

That’s three.

Valaika-Takes-Grounder-ST-sidebar.jpgPat Valaika could hop back onto the 40-man roster as a utility infielder. Stevie Wilkerson also remains in the competition and his ability to play the outfield brings additional value.

Both players have outlasted Ramón Urías and Malquin Canelo.

That’s four and possibly five.

What if Bryan Holaday beats out Chance Sisco for the backup catching job?

What if the Orioles decide to carry Branden Kline or Eric Hanhold in the bullpen? Kline didn’t allow a run in 5 2/3 innings, though he walked four batters. Hanhold allowed one run and struck out nine batters in six innings.

I’ve provided the reminder that players can be placed on the 60-day injured list to remove them from the 40-man roster, but the shutdown is making it harder to set odds.

Manager Brandon Hyde expects outfielder DJ Stewart to be ready for games following October ankle surgery. Reliever Evan Phillips was shut down with elbow soreness, but he’s got plenty of time to recover.

The Orioles are waiting for further updates on Mancini, who underwent surgery on March 12 to remove a malignant tumor in his colon. Baseball isn’t the main concern.

Here is the current 40-man roster:

Keegan Akin
Shawn Armstrong
Richard Bleier
Cody Carroll
Miguel Castro
Alex Cobb
Paul Fry
Mychal Givens
Hunter Harvey
David Hess
Dean Kremer
Travis Lakins Sr.
John Means
Evan Phillips
Tanner Scott
Kohl Stewart
Cole Sulser
Dillon Tate
Hector Velázquez
Asher Wojciechowski

Pedro Severino
Chance Sisco
Austin Wynns

Hanser Alberto
Chris Davis
José Iglesias
Richie Martin
Ryan Mountcastle
Renato Núñez
Rio Ruiz
Ramón Urias
Andrew Velázquez

Austin Hays
Trey Mancini
Ryan McKenna
Cedric Mullins
Anthony Santander
Dwight Smith Jr.
DJ Stewart

Which players are most vulnerable?

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