Candidates to be the Orioles' No. 5 starter [Pictures]

Orioles manager Buck Showalter understands the interest that the competition for the club’'s fifth starter has generated. It was one of the few battles in camp this spring. And, as far as the Orioles are concerned, it pitted some familiar names — -- Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz and Zach Britton, for instance --— against each other. Showalter, though, makes the point that the club'’s five-man rotation on Opening Day is almost certainly not going to stay that way throughout the 2013 season. Last year, for example, the Orioles used 12 different pitchers to start a game. Eight made at least 10 starts. Only one pitcher, Wei-Yin Chen, made more than 20. And that’'s on a team that won 93 games. So, all of the names below likely will make some starts for the Orioles this season -- — except, maybe, T.J. McFarland, a Rule 5 draft pick who, if he doesn'’t make the 25-man roster, likely will have to be offered back to the Cleveland Indians. And they'’ll surely take him back. But it’'s March. And we want to know who will claim the final spot in the rotation behind Jason Hammel, Chen, Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman. Forget all of that "“all of them may start at some point" rationale. At this point, the best guess for the fifth starter is Jake Arrieta, who is seemingly separating himself from the pack with a strong spring. But it’'s not over yet. Showalter keeps preaching that, too. Here’'s a look at the race, the candidates -- in order of likelihood -- and why they will or won'’t seize the final rotation spot. -- Dan Connolly / The Baltimore Sun
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