With less than three weeks to go until Opening Day, the Orioles made another wave of cuts to their spring camp roster before Friday’s game. One more sign that Dan Duquette isn’t in charge any more is that both Rule 5 picks, Brandon Bailey and Michael Rucker, were returned to their original organizations.
GM Mike Elias told O’s reporters of the reasoning, explaining that, among other things, the O’s will likely be having to add players to the 40-man roster at the end of camp. In addition, he said, new roster rules limiting teams to 13 pitchers and lengthening the “10 day rule” for optioned players having to stay in the minor leagues to 15 days, would create other difficulties for trying to carry a Rule 5 guy all year.
The 2018 Orioles pretended they were contending with two Rule 5 picks on the Opening Day roster. The 2020 Orioles, who are probably going to lose 100 games again, won’t even take one guy down to final camp decisions. It’s different thinking than we’ve experienced from the front office before.
Other cuts that bring the camp roster down to 54 players: 40-man players Dean Kremer and Ryan McKenna were optioned, while non-roster invitees Cristian Alvarado, Marcos Diplan, Brady Rodgers, Hunter Cervenka, Martin Cervenka (no relation to Hunter), and Adley Rutschman were reassigned to minor league camp. No surprises there. None of these guys were going to make the team.
As for Friday night’s game, it’s on the radio, so hopefully the O’s give you something to enjoy if you spend part of your evening tuned in. Here’s the starting lineup:
- Austin Hays - CF
- Dwight Smith Jr. - LF
- Anthony Santander - DH
- Renato Núñez - 1B
- Pedro Severino - C
- Pat Valaika - 3B
- Stevie Wilkerson - RF
- Richie Martin - 3B
- Andrew Velazquez - 2B
It doesn’t feel very much like an Opening Day lineup yet. I count four guys who figure to be regular players and maybe two more who will be on the bench.
Thomas Eshelman, who we did not know last year prefers not to go by Tom, is the starting pitcher. Others expected to see action behind him are Chandler Shepherd, Miguel Castro, Paul Fry, Dillon Tate, and Travis Lakins Sr.