Week in review: Looking back and also ahead with a few questions

The last week of stories in this space featured a look back at a pretty great trade for the Orioles, a look at a prediction for the opening day 25-man roster and a look at improved outfield depth on the farm.

I really enjoyed writing this blog entry on Monday. In an interview with long-time Orioles scout Jim Howard, we got some insight into the 2008 trade of left-hander Erik Bedard to Seattle. It brought five players to Baltimore, including current O’s outfielder Adam Jones and pitcher Chris Tillman. Howard has a very unique perspective on the trade. He was the scout that signed Bedard after the O’s selected him in the 1999 draft. He was also part of the group that years later would recommend to then-GM Andy MacPhail that he be traded.

Sisco Throws Black Gear Sidebar.jpgOn Tuesday, I took an early guess at the opening day 25-man roster. Yes, it is pretty early for that, but we are now less than four weeks from the opener. That roster at that time included Chance Sisco, Colby Rasmus and Nestor Cortes Jr.

Baseball America has produced a top 100 prospects list since 1990. In the most recent list, O’s outfielder Austin Hays was ranked No. 21. He becomes just the fourth Orioles outfielder to be rated No. 21 or higher on that list. Hays and Cedric Mullins head up a list of solid O’s outfield prospects. It’s a position of good depth on the farm.

What else is on your mind concerning the O’s today?

* O’s pitcher Kevin Gausman retired all nine batters he faced Saturday against the Phillies. He fanned five with a fastball that touched 97 mph and talked about his outing here.

* An MRI on Chris Davis’ right elbow/forearm from Saturday didn’t reveal any structural damage, said manager Buck Showalter. Davis is projected to be out only three to five days. More on that here.

Wrapping up this entry with a few questions:

* The early returns on Tim Beckham’s play at third base seem to be solid. Is there less concern at this point about his play this year at the hot corner?

* Anthony Santander hit a two-run homer on Saturday. Will he stay on the roster for the first 44 days of this season to satisfy his Rule 5 requirement?

* Will the Orioles add another starting pitcher or pitchers before opening day?

* Which new AL East slugger will have a better season - Giancarlo Stanton of the Yankees or J.D. Martinez of the Red Sox?

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