Good morning, Camden Chatters.
The calendar has flipped to 2023, which means, by law, that it’s time to start looking forward to spring training. We’re a month away from Orioles players convening in Sarasota, Fla., to begin their run-up to the regular season.
The O’s, as always, will begin camp with a huge cadre of candidates vying to make the club, a group that will eventually be whittled down to the Opening Day 26-man roster. As things stand now, though, most of the spots seem to be accounted for.
The position players, especially, seem pretty well locked in. Just take a look at the 14 hitters on the Orioles’ current 40-man roster, subtract Joey Ortiz (who will likely begin the year at Triple-A Norfolk), and boom — there’s your 13 guys for Opening Day. Maybe you can make a case that Terrin Vavra or Ryan McKenna will start the season in the minors, but there shouldn’t be much debate on the rest.
The pitching situation is more fluid, but much of the bullpen is set — Félix Bautista, Cionel Pérez, Dillon Tate, Mychal Givens, Bryan Baker, and probably Keegan Akin — with Kyle Gibson, Dean Kremer, and Kyle Bradish in the rotation and Tyler Wells and Austin Voth serving in one role or another. Grayson Rodriguez, the top pitching prospect in baseball, is likely to break camp with the team as long as he’s healthy. That leaves only one spot up for grabs.
Of course, all of this is subject to change if Mike Elias springs a surprise trade on us between now and Opening Day, like he did last year when he traded Tanner Scott and Cole Sulser five days before the season began. So perhaps we shouldn’t count our chickens before they hatch.
Looking at a few more available free agent pitchers - Steve Melewski
Melewski runs through a few of the remaining free agent starters, and my goodness is it slim pickings. At this point the Orioles’ only real avenue for an upgrade is to pull off a trade with someone, as much as I’d hate parting with prospects.
Roster questions as 2023 begins for Orioles - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff speculates that journeymen Franchy Cordero or Nomar Mazara could beat out Kyle Stowers for a roster spot, which would upset me. Come on, Orioles! Let Kyle play!
A new year and old questions about Orioles roster - School of Roch
Roch Kubatko reports that the Cubs, rather than the Orioles, are the favorites to sign Eric Hosmer. That does not upset me in the least.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Two former Orioles were born on this day: outfielder Jim Dwyer (73) and right-hander Mike Wright Jr. (33).
On this day in 1955, the O’s acquired two-time All-Star outfielder Hoot Evers from the Tigers. Evers was long past his best days, though, and finished his career with two mediocre seasons in Baltimore.
And on this date in 2011, O’s reliever Alfredo Simon turned himself in to Dominican police in connection with a fatal shooting at a New Year’s party. Authorities believed Simon had fired celebratory shots into the air that killed a partygoer, but he was released from custody after ballistics tests on his gun were inconclusive. Simon went on to pitch 23 games for the Orioles in 2011 and four more seasons elsewhere, earning an All-Star berth with the Reds in 2014.