• Apr

    A few thoughts about initial minor league rosters

    The Orioles haven’t officially announced their minor league rosters yet but the workout rosters have been released and they generally are the final rosters barring a few last second changes occasionally. There are no big surprises overall, but a few things stand out.

    Showalters’ Veteran AAA Club

    The Norfolk Tides roster reflects the vision of Orioles manager Buck Showalter  who prefers to have solid veteran players with major league experience at AAA.

    Ryan Drese (96 MLB starts), Mark Hendrickson (166), Chris Jakubauskas (9), and Troy Patton (2) will all get a shot at the starting rotation along with Rick Vandenhurk (33) and Chris George (44). That's a lot of AAA starting pitching depth with major league experience. Relievers Alberto Castillo, Clay Rapada, Armando Gabino, and Mark Worrell all have major league time as well.

    Infielders Brendan Harris and Nick Green have significant major league time while Nolan Reimold, Craig Tatum and Josh Bell have more than a cup of coffee in the majors.

    2nd base depth throughout organization

    Don’t look now, but the Orioles have some nice little depth going on within the organization at second base. Ryan Adams, who really opened some eyes with his stick this spring, will see most of his action at 2B despite the fact that he’s struggled defensively there throughout his career. He may get some looks at 3B as well. At Bowie, most people figured top prospect L.J. Hoes would get the promotion to Bowie but the Orioles preferred to give former SS Greg Miclat the bulk of the work at 2B at Bowie, at least to start the year. Miclat, who lost some weight in the offseason, had a great spring with the bat and has looked very good defensively. He’ll also see some time still at SS, but his arm strength suggests second base is a better position for him. Hoes will head back to Frederick to start the year, but if he gets off to a hot start he could force his way to Bowie before the All-Star break. In Delmarva, Mychal Givens will play mostly at 2B, but he’ll also switch over to 3B in order to get Jonathan Schoop some time at 2B as well. Both are top ten prospects within the organization.

    Keys Rotation set

    According to Orioles Hangout’s Adam Vencill, the Keys have set their starting rotation. Ryan O’Shea will get the opening night start and will be followed in order by Oliver Drake and Bobby Bundy. Jacob Rasner will start the first home game next Tuesday and Nathan Moreau will round out the rotation. Bundy had a big spring and looks primed for a breakout year.

    Jesse Beal was supposed to be one of the starters but he went down reportedly with a shoulder strain Early prognosis is for him to miss about a month.

    One good surprise at Delmarva and one bad

    The Orioles have brought left-hander Tim Berry along slowly after they drafted him in the 50th round and signed him to an above slot bonus despite the fact he needed Tommy John surgery. He pitched just 20 innings last year with a 1.35 ERA and 23 strikeouts, but this season he’s apparently won a spot on the Shorebirds squad.  The bad news is that Parker Bridwell apparently did not break camp with a full season club despite the fact that word from spring training was that he was looking good. At just 19 years old the Orioles may be just taking it slowly with him and starting him at Aberdeen, where he’ll still be one of the younger players in the league.

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Tony Pente

Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.