What to make of the Orioles Friday roster moves

The Baltimore Orioles had an off-day yesterday, but the team’s news cycle didn’t slow down at all. On Friday afternoon the Orioles made an addition to their starting rotation, reclaimed a pitcher off waivers, and designated another Rule 5 pick for assignment.

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What will the Orioles infield look like to open the 2019 season?

The Orioles open the 2019 regular season on Thursday afternoon at 1:05 from the Bronx against the Yankees. 25-man rosters are due on Thursday one hour before first pitch, and the Orioles have made a number of roster moves over the last few days.

Here’s some of the highlights

  • Mark Trumbo will begin the season on the injured list. Trumbo will stay in Florida to continue rehabbing his knee, but it could be a month or longer before he resumes baseball activities
  • Infielder Jace Peterson was reassigned to minor league camp on Sunday. Peterson played in 93 games for the O’s last season and was in the mix for an infield role
  • Relief pitcher Evan Phillips was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk despite not allowing a run in 9.2 innings of work this spring
  • The Orioles claimed catcher Pedro Severino off waivers from the Nationals on Saturday. Severino has played for the Nats in the last four seasons, leading some to believe that he will join Jesus Sucre as the O’s two catchers while Chance Sisco starts the year in Norfolk
  • Veterans Eric Young Jr. and Alcides Escobar were released

The O’s still need to make a handful of cuts to field a 25-man team. Last week I tried to project the starting outfield. Before Mike Elias and Brandon Hyde make their final moves, I wanted to predict what the starting infield will look like to begin the 2019 season.

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Projecting the Orioles starting outfield following Sunday’s roster trimming

Before the Orioles took the field against the Yankees on Sunday from Ed Smith Stadium, eight players were either optioned to Triple-A Norfolk or assigned to minor league camp.

Outfielders Austin Hays and Anthony Santander both hit well above .300 in Spring Training, each receiving at least 33 at-bats. They were two names muttered by media and fans alike when talking about the young talent who could travel north when camp concludes.

Santander, who has a rocket of an arm, hit .198 over 101 big league at-bats before being optioned in May of last year. Hays was a September call-up in 2017 and received 60 at-bats. Much of his 2018 season was spent in the trainer’s room dealing with a stress fracture in his right ankle that required surgery.

Hays was a surprising cut considering his service time clock already started. Both his bat and his glove dominated the spring training highlight reel. There’s a number of factors behind the transactions due to how crowded the Orioles outfield is. Even though Hays and Santander won’t crack the Opening Day lineup, some more time on the farm will only help their development.

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