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The Orioles are Poised for a Deep Run

Kyle Stowers watches his Baltimore Orioles teammates from the dugout.

The Orioles have a young, talented roster, and the front office acted in preparation for a playoff series.

The Baltimore Orioles are coming off their best season of the century, and they are now prepared to compete for years to come. Despite making few moves over the winter, the O’s claimed some of the biggest headlines.


SP Corbin Burnes

CP Craig Kimbrel

RP Tucker Davidson

RP Jonathan Heasley

3B Tyler Nevin

RP Matt Krook

INF Nick Maton

RP Kaleb Ort


2B Adam Frazier

SP Jack Flaherty

SP Kyle Gibson

OF Aaron Hicks

RP Shintaro Fujinami

SS Joey Ortiz

RP DL Hall

RP Jorge Lopez

Offseason Grade: B+

The Orioles did what they needed to do. With CP Felix Bautista set to miss the whole season, the Birds signed a well-defined closer. They could have aimed higher than Kimbrel, but he performs best in saves situations, and that’s what the team needs from him. More importantly, GM Mike Elias went out and got a bona fide ace. Burnes was arguably the best starter on the market, and Elias did not empty out the farm system to acquire him. Many people in Birdland think the O’s should have gotten a second one, as well, so only the singular rotation addition prevents Baltimore from getting a better grade.

But the Orioles get bonus points because the Angelos family is finally selling the team. David Rubenstein is from the city and will hopefully invest more in the team. The other owners will approve him in a vote this week, while Birdland is currently mourning the death of Peter Angelos. While his son, John, has been unwilling to spend, Peter cared about the Orioles winning and pushed for a higher payroll when the circumstances called for it. He also rejected using replacement players during the 1994-1995 strike, earning respect from the MLBPA that remains to this day. The league could use more owners like Peter Angelos who care about more than their bottom line.

Rotation Misfortune

Over the past couple seasons, the Orioles have had relatively positive injury luck throughout the roster, especially the rotation. That luck came to an end this spring when Elias revealed to the media that both SPs Kyle Bradish and John Means will open the season on the IL. The news put a damper on the celebratory mood of Spring Training beginning, and there have been few updates since then. Bradish has an elbow sprain, which is serious. It seems like he won’t need season-ending surgery, but we don’t know that for sure. Meanwhile, Means is dealing with the same soreness that kept him from pitching in the playoffs. Hopefully he can return sooner rather than later.

The fact that the team has not placed them on the 60-Day IL is encouraging, but they will still be out for an extended period of time. Instead of signing SPs Jordan Montgomery or Mike Clevinger, the Birds will rely on their internal options. That means swingmen Tyler Wells and Cole Irvin will both open the season in the rotation. If the front office needs to call someone up due to performance or another injury prospects SPs Cade Povich and Chayce McDermott are waiting in AAA.

Prospects Galore

The other main storyline in Spring Training has been the position battles between the many talented youngsters in the organization. The Orioles have more infielders and outfielders than they know what to do with, so the Norfolk Tides will once again have a stacked lineup. To the surprise of most fans and observers, SS Jackson Holliday will not be on the Opening Day roster. Mike Elias said during the Winter Meetings that the #1 prospect in baseball making the team was “a very strong possibility,” but he decided to change course. OF Colton Cowser, somewhat surprisingly, will make the team instead.

The Orioles seem set on keeping all the players they have instead of forcing the issue, as 3B Ramon Urias and SS Jorge Mateo will play super-utility roles in Baltimore. Holliday did all that he could to make the team, hitting .311/.354/.600 in exhibition games. Hopefully he excels at second base in the minors and comes back up before losing a full year of service time. He is not the only one headed to Virginia, though, as OF Kyle Stowers raked in the Grapefruit League with seven homers but did not sway the decision makers.

Heston Kjerstad impressed in a cup of coffee last season but did not impress this spring. He will bat at Harbor Park alongside 2B Connor Norby and 3B Coby Mayo, who will debut at some point later this year. They are both promising hitting prospects who do not have clear defensive homes.

Projected Opening Day Roster

  1. CF Cedric Mullins
  2. C Adley Rutschman
  3. SS Gunnar Henderson
  4. RF Anthony Santander
  5. 1B Ryan O’Hearn
  6. DH Ryan Mountcastle
  7. LF Austin Hays
  8. 2B Jordan Westburg
  9. 3B Ramon Urias

Bench: C James McCann, OF Colton Cowser, SS Jorge Mateo, OF Ryan McKenna


Corbin Burnes

Grayson Rodriguez

Dean Kremer

Tyler Wells

Cole Irvin


Craig Kimbrel

Yennier Cano

Cionel Perez

Jacob Webb

Danny Coulombe

Dillon Tate

Mike Baumann

Keegan Akin

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