Pitching coach Rick Kranitz agreed to an impromptu press briefing a little while ago and explained the club's rationale for starting Brad Hennessey in the first Grapefruit League game on Wednesday. Hennessey benefits from Jeremy Guthrie's selection to Team USA.
"All of Guthrie's inning will be given to someone else,'' Kranitz said. "Jeremy was going to start that game, but [now] he's going to throw two simulated innings tomorrow."
That doesn't mean, however, that moving Hennessey into the first start is not significant. Kranitz says that it is very meaningful, and that Hennessey is going to get a very long look this spring.
"We're going to take a real good look at him,'' Kranitz said. "We're going to give him an opportunity."
There are at least two openings in the Orioles rotation, but those slots apparently haven't been left blank. Kranitz revealed today that he already has five starters in mind, though that obviously could change over the course of training camp.
"I have an idea of what it's going to be, but that's just right now,'' he said. "I had five in my mind last year at this time and it was wrong."
Judging from his comments, I'd speculate that the first three are Jeremy Guthrie, Koji Uehara, Rich Hill and the fourth would be either Hennessey, Hayden Penn or David Pauley. He said he also has a "sleeper" that is not on anybody's radar just yet.