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Orioles lineup: Gunnar Henderson plays third, bats sixth in MLB debut

The lineup contains Henderson and all of Ryan Mountcastle, Rougned Odor, and Ramón Urías.

Altoona Curve v Bowie Baysox
Gunnar Henderson has climbed a long way from Bowie in a short time.
Photo by 2021 Rodger Wood/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The Orioles threw a little surprise at us on Wednesday afternoon, promoting Gunnar Henderson to MLB rather than waiting for rosters to expand tomorrow. Tonight’s lineup suddenly became much more interesting. Where would Henderson play, and how high or low would he hit in the lineup?

The lineup for the second game of the series in Cleveland against the Guardians is out now, and we’ve got our answers. Henderson is in there at third base, batting sixth in the order. Here’s the full starting lineup for Wednesday:

  1. Cedric Mullins - CF
  2. Adley Rutschman - C
  3. Anthony Santander - RF
  4. Ramón Urías - DH
  5. Ryan Mountcastle - 1B
  6. Gunnar Henderson - 3B
  7. Austin Hays - LF
  8. Rougned Odor - 2B
  9. Jorge Mateo - SS

That’s the lineup in support of starting pitcher Jordan Lyles. Making the start for the Guardians is Triston McKenzie, who’s pitched simply great this year, with a sub-1.00 WHIP and 3.17 ERA through 27 games. The Guardians must not have rewarded him with much run support, as he’s only 9-10 despite that strong performance. It is not going to be an easy task for Henderson in his debut, nor tomorrow with Shane Bieber lined up.

The one surprise about this lineup for me is that the Orioles managed to slip all of Henderson, Mountcastle, Odor, and Urías into the same batting order. As everyone who has been watching the team this month is aware, there’s been plenty of struggling with hitting among that set of Orioles infielders.

With Henderson having played a bit of second and first in the minors, it seemed like the Orioles were setting him up to maybe play those positions, shunting one of the slumpers to the bench each day. We may yet see that down the road. I think it’s good to see him play a position he’s more familiar with in his debut. Henderson has played 83 games in the minors at third base and 133 at shortstop. But for now, the guys who’ve sucked lately are all in there.

Maybe they’ll start to break out of it tonight. The Orioles have turned in some good games recently against good starting pitchers. I won’t be holding my breath. I’m looking forward to seeing Henderson’s debut regardless.