Orioles 2014 25-man roster: The hitters

Patrick Smith

A look at the fine young men who will make up the offense for your 2014 Baltimore Orioles.

The Orioles still have to make things official to get a few players on the 40-man or to the DL, but the 25-man roster is set. Check out the hitters here and the pitchers in part one of this story.

Infielders

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Jonathan Dyer - USA Today Sports

2013:148 G, .235/.287/.417, 22 HR, 29 2B
Career:657 G, .255/.319/.420, 87 HR, 121 2B

Last year was the most disappointing of Matt Wieters career so far. He' s still a valuable baseball player, but that he didn't even crack a .300 OBP was a pretty big let down. He's probably good for 20+ home runs this year (he's done it each of the last three seasons), but if he doesn't start to get on base more it'll be another long season at the plate.

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Greg Fiume - Getty Images

2013: 160 G, .286/.370/.634, 53 HR, 42 2B
Career: 596 G, .266/.327/.512, 130 HR, 121 2B

Will he hit 53 home runs again? Probably not. But he's still going to be the best hitter on this team in 2014. It's hard to remember a time when I didn't love Chris Davis, although a quick search of this site would easily prove that wasn't always the case. He is a player capable of carrying a team. Let's just hope that this season he doesn't need to.

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Greg Fiume - Getty Images

2013: 118 G, .259/.278/.338, 2 HR, 15 2B
Career: 257 G, .264/.297/.342, 5 HR, 32 2B

Lombardozzi hasn't been an Oriole long enough to get a picture in an O's uniform. Picked up after the announcement that Manny Machado won't be ready to start the season, he offers the team some flexibility in the roster. The scuttlebutt is that he'll share time at second base with Jonathan Schoop (who will in turn share time at third base with Ryan Flaherty). He's never shown much at the plate in the big leagues, but his minor league numbers suggest he has good OBP skills.

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Greg Fiume - Getty Images

2013: 159 G, .263/.306/.433, 25 HR, 27 2B
Career: 1118 G, .260/.312/.428, 158 HR, 207 2B

This is the last year of Hardy's contract, though rumor is that the Orioles would like to extend him. I hope that happens during the season because if he hits free agency the O's might lose him. He's won the Gold Glove at shortstop the last two seasons and brought home the Silver Slugger in 2013. Sure, he'll never wow anyone with his on-base percentage, but it's easy to forget about that when you see his home runs and good looks.

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Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

Ryan Flaherty - 3B/2B
2013: 85 G, .224/.293/.390, 10 HR, 11 2B
Career: 162 G, .221/.279/.378, 16 HR, 13 2B

I would imagine it's been a tumultuous last few months for Ryan Flaherty. He was the presumptive second baseman for the Orioles not long ago, but a setback in Manny Machado's rehab and a super spring by Jonathan Schoop have put that into flux. He'll start the season sharing time at third base with Schoop, but it's anyone's guess what will happen when Machado is ready to return to action. J.J. Hardy predicted that Flaherty could hit 20 home runs in a regular season, and his bat does seem to have some pop. Maybe this is the year we'll find out.

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Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

Steve Clevenger - C
Minors: 592 G, .311/.373/.428, 27 HR, 129 2B
Majors: 83 G, .204/.262/.279, 1 HR, 14 2B

Steve Clevenger, the Pride of Pigtown! Local boy does good! Traded to the Orioles last season, Clevenger competed this spring with Johnny Monell for the backup catcher position and emerged the victor. His minor league numbers make it appear that he isn't completely useless with the bat, though he does have four stints in the Pacific Coast League to pump them up. I'm just hoping that he plays well enough to allow Matt Wieters to get a few more days off this year.
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Kim Klement - USA Today Sports


Jonathan Schoop - 2B/3B
2013 (AAA): 70 G, .256/.301/396, 9 HR, 11 2B
Career (Minors): 463 G, .268/.335/.407, 46 HR, 87 2B

Schoop is the surprise of the spring. The top position prospect in the Orioles was expected to start the year at AAA to get some more seasoning before staking his claim to second base for the Orioles. But he came into camp looking bigger and stronger than ever and played his way onto the team. It wouldn't surprise me to see him back in Norfolk when Machado returns from the disabled list, but maybe he'll take his chance and run with it.

Outfielders/DH

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Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

2013: 160 G, .271/.329/.356, 10 HR, 24 2B
Career: 1210 G, .292/.360/441, 127 HR, 289 2B

One of the big questions of the spring is whether Nick Markakis can bounce back from his miserable 2013 season. I think that it's almost certain that he'll be better in 2014, but the question is how much better? He came into spring training looking transformed; his first completely healthy off season allowed him to work out longer and harder than every before, and he showed up looking like a beefcake. Will that translate to the batter's box? We can only hope.
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Jonathan Dyer - USA Today Sports

2013: 160 G, .285/.318/.493, 33 HR, 35 2B
Career:946 G, .279/.322/.460, 140 HR, 174 2B

Adam Jones is very good at baseball. I think that this is something we take for granted as Orioles fans. He is coming off of back-to-back seasons in which he hit 30+ home runs and 30+ doubles, and there's no reason to think that won't continue. Sure, advanced defensive metrics don't like his defense, but he is more than capable out there. He's gone through phases where I had to shake my head at his play in the outfield, but it's been quite some time since the last one.

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Jonathan Dyer - USA Today Sports

Nelson Cruz - LF/DH
2013: 109 G, .266/.327/.506, 27 HR, 18 2B
Career: 804 G, .268/.327/.495, 157 HR, 171 2B

The Orioles' new outfielder/designated hitter wasn't at the top of my off season wish list, but now that he's here I'm happy to have him. He was having a fantastic season last year before getting suspended for 50 games as part of the Biogenesis scandal, and I'm hoping he can pick right up where he left off. It might be an adventure for all of us watching him in the outfield sometimes, but at least he has a strong arm.
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Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images

2013: 96 G, .286/.311/.413, 5 HR, 17 2B
Career (Minors): 677 G, .297/.349/.459, 65 HR, 121 2B

When the Orioles swapped Danny Valencia for David Lough, it was evaluated as a solid but unspectacular move. Lough only has 400 ML plate appearances under his belt, but he had a solid bat in the minors and is known for being a good defender. He'll play left field when Nelson Cruz is DH'ing and can give Adam Jones and Nick Markakis a rest when needed as well.

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Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

Steve Pearce - OF/1B/DH
2013: 44 G, .261/.362/.420, 4 HR, 7 2B
Career: 290 G, .238/.318/.377, 17 HR, 44 2B

Steve Pearce missed most of 2013 with wrist injuries, but he was a favorite to be on the Orioles bench from the beginning of spring training. Pearce loves hitting lefties, and that's how he'll be used this season. You might see him at first base when a tough lefty is starting against the team, or DH'ing against them when Nelson Cruz is in left field. He's also a nice pinch hitting option late game.

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Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

Delmon Young - OF/DH
2013: 103 G, .260/.307/.407, 11 HR, 16 2B
Career: 983 G, .282/.316/.423, 100 HR, 201 2B

Delmon Young is not the guy that most of us wanted to see make the team this year. Nolan Reimold is a lot easier to root for and has a history with the Orioles, so it would have been nice if he made the team. But he went on the disabled list (again), so Young finds himself with an opportunity. He'll play a similar role to Pearce, though he hits right-handed pitchers better. It's no secret that his arrest in 2012 makes him unlikable and hard to root for, but now that he's on the team all we can do is hope that he stays out of trouble and maybe even plays some decent baseball.


Disabled List

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Joy R. Absalon - USA Today Sports

Manny Machado - 3B
2013: 156 G, .283/.314/.432, 14 HR, 51 2B
Career: 207 G, .279/.309/.435, 21 HR, 59 2B

For most of the off season we heard nothing to positive reports about Manny Machado's recovery from knee surgery. As such we had high hopes that Manny would be ready for Opening Day, but it wasn't meant to be. But what's important is that he is 100% ready to go before he sets foot on the field. When he does return, it'll be interesting to see what happens with the Flaherty/Schoop/Lombardozzi three-headed monster.

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Ried Compton - USA Today Sports

Nolan Reimold - OF/DH
2013:40 G, .195/.250/.336, 5 HR, 3 2B
Career: 286 G, .252/.327/.439, 41 HR, 42 2B

Oh, Nolan. We thought maybe this was the year. Remember 2009? Those were the days. Unfortunately, since then Reimold hasn't had any success staying on the field. He almost made it through spring training this season but, in a move that surprised no one, had to go on the DL. He is still having trouble with his surgically repaired neck and can't look up without pain. At this point I think it might be time for Nolan to think about a new career path.
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Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images

2013 (AAA): 70 G, .316/.354/.408, 3 HR, 12 2B
Career (Minors): 690 G, .306/.337/.427, 36 HR, 115 2B, 53(!) 3B

Peguero was signed by the Orioles in December to compete for an outfield spot, but it was over before it started with him. He played in just six spring training games before having to sit out with what was first believed to be a minor right wrist sprain, but which has turned out to be tendinitis in his wrist. There is no telling when he'll come off the DL or what the Orioles will do with him when he does.
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Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

2013 (AA): 131 G, .268/.328/.432, 16 HR, 29 2B
Career (Minors): 659 G, .250/.302/.373, 49 HR, 149 2B

If not for the fact that Almanzar is on the disabled list, this Rule 5 pick would undoubtedly be going back to the Boston Red Sox. There was very little chance he'd make the team. But he did come down with an injury, diagnosed with patella tendinitis in his left knee. That buys the Orioles some time to figure out what they want to do with him.
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