The Orioles made a flurry of roster moves as the all but set their major league roster pending any waiver wire moves.
Among the cuts was spring training phenom Chance Sisco who slashed .323/.500/.710/1.210 this spring with a 10-9 BB-K ratio. Sisco though was coming off an awful 2018 campaign, and with the acquisition of former top prospect Pedro Severino through a waiver claim, Elias/Hyde appear to prefer to go with defense over offense for their catchers.
Also cut were catchers Andrew Susac and Carlos Perez who both hit well this spring, but it appears the Orioles will go with Jesus Sucre unless another waiver claim occurs. Austin Wynns appears to be heading to the injured list to start the year but it will be interesting to see what happens when he’s ready by mid to late April.
The Orioles also optioned left-handed reliever Tanner Scott after a poor spring that saw the hard throwing southpaw put up a 9.00 ERA with just 5 Ks and 6 BBs in 8 IP. He will be joined by Josh Rogers in AAA, who was also optioned. Evan Phillips also was optioned after not allowing an earned run in eight IP.
Non roster invite and 2018 Orioles Jace Peterson was also cut. Peterson will be utility depth in AAA.
With the cuts, the Orioles have 29 men left in camp but Mark Trumbo and Wynns will start the year on the DL meaning their really is just 27 players will chances to break opening day.
It really looks like the last position on the team to be decided is the long reliever role in the bullpen with Jimmy Yacobonis and John Means up for that last spot. Phillips hasn’t given up a run this spring and Yacobonis may have the best stuff though one bad appearance gave him an unsightly 8.10 spring ERA. Means is a lefty and with an all-right handed starting rotation, having a lefty has a long reliever might not be bad idea. Elias will certainly scour the wire waiver as well, so it’s possible that none of them make it since they all have options.
Barring any waiver claims, and I expect the Orioles will be active, here’s your 25-man roster for opening day.
Chris Davis – 1B
Renato Nunez – 1B/3B
Jonathan Villar – 2B/SS
Richie Martin – SS
Rio Ruiz – 3B/1B
Drew Jackson – 2B/SS/OF
Hanser Alberto – 2B/SS/3B
Dwight Smith Jr. – LF
Cedric Mullins – CF
Joey Rickard – RF
Trey Mancini – LF/1B
Mike Wright Jr.
CL: Mychal Givens
SU: Miguel Castro
SU: Richard Bleier
MR: Nate Karns
MR: Pedro Araujo
MR: Paul Frey
LR: Means/Yacobonis/Waiver pickup
Obviously it would depend on who is claimed on waivers, but most vulnerable to demotion if a player was acquired with no options:
Alberto is a better defensive SS becomes available, Smith Jr. if an outfielder becomes available because he has an option. Sucre is vulnerable if a younger catcher becomes available thought the orioles like how he handles a pitching staff. On the pitchers side, outside of the long reliever candidates trio, Karns is vulnerable due to his age and I still believe they would put Wright on waivers if they felt they found a better option for the back of the rotation.
What say you?