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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Pondering the Orioles Opening Day roster

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The regular season is over three weeks away, but a fair number of the Orioles’ roster spots are already spoken for.

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles
Is Chris Davis assured an Opening Day roster spot? Is this a rhetorical question?
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Three weeks from today, the Orioles will be finished with their Grapefruit League schedule, breaking camp in Sarasota and heading to Boston for their first series of the 2021 season. Between now and then, the O’s still have 20 more spring training games to play, which hopefully will give them enough time to tighten up the so-far dreadful pitching and defense we’ve seen in early exhibition play. After an off day yesterday, the O’s pick back up this afternoon at 1 p.m. against the Twins in Fort Myers. The game will be televised on MLB Network, giving O’s fans the rare opportunity to watch their team this spring.

We can only guess what the Orioles’ season-opening roster will look like come April 1. MLB.com’s Joe Trezza did just that, offering his prediction for the Opening Day 26-man squad. For the most part, it looks like a pretty accurate projection to me, based on the players currently in camp. I would differ with just two or three of the selections; I think the O’s will find a way to start Chris Davis on the injured list due to the back strain that has kept him sidelined for a week so far. That would give them room to keep DJ Stewart, who isn’t included in Trezza’s projected roster. I’m also not sold on both Felix Hernandez and Matt Harvey making the rotation — I think the former is more likely than the latter. I could see Harvey’s spot instead going to Wade LeBlanc or Bruce Zimmermann.

What say you, Camden Chatters? What’s your best guess at the Orioles’ Opening Day 26-man roster right now?

Links

Previewing the 2021 American League East: Baltimore Orioles - Over the Monster
Matt Collins of SB Nation’s Red Sox blog, Over the Monster, offers a solid preview of the Orioles from a division rival’s perspective. If last year’s standings are any indication, the Red Sox might be the Birds’ most evenly matched opponent in the AL East, so...let’s get hyped for that battle for fourth place!

Zac Lowther: Orioles prospect Q&A - Orioles.com
The Orioles’ No. 11 prospect answers some rapid-fire questions. He has two favorite musical artists, neither of whom I have ever heard of. Am I just old?

O’s new third base coach looks to find right level of agressiveness - Steve Melewski
In general, when a fan base becomes intimately familiar with a third base coach’s name, it’s almost never for a good reason. So here’s hoping we won't have need to discuss Tony Mansolino very much this year.

Because You Asked - The Next Generation - School of Roch
In his latest round of O’s questions and answers, Roch Kubatko reveals his least favorite ballpark song is Pharrell’s “Happy.” Ah, but has he heard the Weird Al parody, “Tacky”? Forty-three bumper stickers and a YOLO license plate / I bring along my coupon book whenever I’m on a date...

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have just one O’s birthday buddy, 2011 lefty specialist Clay Rapada (40), who pitched in 32 games but worked just 16.1 innings. The three-batter-minimum rule would not be kind to him if he were still active.

On this day in 2012, the Orioles’ perpetually snakebitten outfielder Nolan Reimold was hit in the face by a pitch in a spring training game, forcing him to be taken to the hospital. (The Rays pitcher who threw that pitch? Alex Cobb.) The good news is that Reimold didn’t break any bones and was back in action by Opening Day, though he played just 16 regular season games before missing the rest of the year with an unrelated injury.