The Orioles starting rotation is a little bit less of a secret today. Prior to Thursday's Grapefruit League-closing game, manager Buck Showalter announced that the O's #4 starter will be Mike Wright.
That follows the announcement from earlier in the week that the O's rotation would start out with Chris Tillman, Yovani Gallardo, and Ubaldo Jimenez lined up in that order. It is still a state secret as to who will initially be the #5 starter. One thing we do know is that, at least at first, that last starter will not be Kevin Gausman, whose return is now currently pegged for April 19.
It's not certain until they announce a name, but it seems that the Orioles #5 starter will probably begin the season on the roster with the team. Showalter also informed O's media that Tyler Wilson has made the Opening Day roster, though his role is not yet completely defined. Maybe he will be the #5 starter once it is announced.
Vance Worley would figure to be the other candidate for the spot. It's probably easier for the O's if it's Wilson, assuming that the person only ends up needing to make two starts before Gausman comes back. They could have Wilson make two starts, then get optioned to the minors and continue starting in the Norfolk rotation. That way, there would be fewer disruptions where someone changes roles mid-season.
Are you feeling good about Wright getting the chance? The 26-year-old righty isn't an extremely inspiring choice, but then, it's only a back end of the rotation spot, and the third round pick from 2011 is one guy they might as well give a chance here. There's no one else in the organization who'd fill you with confidence if placed in the rotation instead of Wright.
If the experiment's not working out well, they can always adjust after however long they feel is a fair amount of time to give him to figure the whole thing out. Wright might find himself in Norfolk or even the bullpen, where his thus-far limited arsenal might play better with the consistently higher velocity a pitcher can get when he knows he only has to go for one or two innings at a time.
Nine starts last year in which Wright posted a 6.48 ERA is apparently not enough for them to disqualify him from consideration. Well, maybe Wright learned something there, was able to work on it this spring, and will do better than he did before.
Or maybe he'll be like Chris Tillman from 2015 and do alright as long as he doesn't have to face the Blue Jays? Take out Wright's two starts against the Blue Jays and he posted a 5.70 ERA ... OK, that still sucks. I don't know. I got nothing.
Good luck to Wright in the rotation. O's fans will all be happier if he succeeds.