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Wednesday night Orioles game thread: vs Blue Jays, 7:05

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Jimmy Yacabonis makes his fifth start of the season as the O’s try to avoid yet another sweep.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles - Game One Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

It’s anyone’s guess as to who will be on the Orioles roster when they open the 2019 season. While competing for a playoff spot so soon feels like a pipe dream, there will be pressure on the team’s decision makers (whomever that may be) to cobble together a less embarrassing group than we have seen in 2018.

When it comes to the starting rotation, there would seem to be only two certainties: Dylan Bundy and Alex Cobb. They both have experienced significant struggles and have multiple years of team control remaining. They could be, along with just about anyone else of value on the team, available via trade this winter, but that feels like selling relatively low on a pair of pitchers that have shown traces of effectiveness recently.

Beyond those two, it’s anyone’s guess as to who makes up the remainder of the starting crew. Andrew Cashner may be the most movable piece on the team. Yefry Ramirez, Josh Rogers and David Hess have all had opportunities with varying degrees of success. Gabriel Ynoa is a candidate, but he needs to get healthy first. Heck, Hunter Harvey might even be an option if he can stay on the field for an extended period of time.

Jimmy Yacabonis can be lumped in with the rest of them, but he would appear to be towards the back of the pack. He transitioned into a starter for Triple-A Norfolk this season and has had modest success (4.26 ERA, 62 SO, 76 IP, .219 BAA) with the Tides, but has struggled time and time again when brought up to the highest level (7.22 ERA, 26 SO, 28.2 IP, .289 BAA).

What could make Yacabonis a more interesting option would be if the Orioles actually attempt to copy the Rays “opener” set-up for part of rotation. Yacabonis owns a .235/.257/.382 slash line during the first time through a line up in his career as a starter. It gets much worse during the second time through the order (.344/.417/.781). Granted, these are still really small sample sizes, but it makes sense that a guy who was predominantly a reliever in the minors has trouble the deeper into games he gets.

Orioles lineup

  1. Cedric Mullins, CF
  2. Joey Rickard, LF
  3. Jonathan Villar, 2B
  4. Adam Jones, RF
  5. Trey Mancini, 1B
  6. Tim Beckham, SS
  7. Renato Nunez, 3B
  8. DJ Stewart, DH
  9. Austin Wynns, C
  • RHP Jimmy Yacabonis

Blue Jays lineup

  1. Bill McKinney, LF
  2. Lourdes Gurriel, SS
  3. Justin Smoak, 1B
  4. Kendrys Morales, DH
  5. Kevin Pillar, CF
  6. Aledmys Diaz, 3B
  7. Teoscar Hernandez, RF
  8. Devon Travis, 2B
  9. Luke Maile, C
  • RHP Marco Estrada