PHILADELPHIA — The Orioles headed back to Baltimore after their exhibition finale Friday night with their Opening Day roster essentially set. The one question remaining was the same one the Orioles brass has been asking itself the past week.
Will the Orioles be forced to carry outfielder Hyun Soo Kim on their 25-man roster?
The eight roster cuts the Orioles made after their 8-7 win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park put the roster picture into focus. The most interesting of the moves was the club reassigning infielder Paul Janish to minor league camp. He was pushing for a utility infielder spot and had an upward mobility clause in his contract.
The team also reassigned pitchers Pedro Beato and Todd Redmond, outfielder L.J. Hoes and infielder Steve Tolleson, and optioned catcher Francisco Pena to Triple-A Norfolk.
Right-hander Vance Worley said after his abbreviated outing Friday that he hadn't been told yet whether he made the team, but it's likely that he and right-hander Tyler Wilson will open the season in the bullpen before one of them is selected to start April 10 when the Orioles need a No. 5 starter.
"Until I'm told something, I'm just going to assume I'm still here, so that's a good thing," Worley said after Friday's outing. "I'm not going to think too far ahead until I get a handshake and say, 'Good job, you're here.'"
So that leaves the final two roster spots coming down to Kim, outfielder Nolan Reimold and nonroster outfielder Xavier Avery.
Avery has had a strong spring – even though most of his playing time was as a reserve – hitting .313/.476/.813 with four homers, eight RBIs and 10 walks in 32 at-bats. But since Avery was signed to a minor league contract, it would be easy to send him to the minors.
Reimold struggled out of the gate this spring, hitting .150 through his first 13 games, but he was 8-for-12 with three homers over his final five Grapefruit League games.
Reimold is also out of minor league options and we know the situation with Kim. If the Orioles are indeed forced to carry Kim, Avery will likely be the odd man out.
Here's how my projection of the roster breaks down, because at this point I believe the Orioles will be forced to carry Kim.
Pitchers (12) Starters (4) RHP Chris Tillman RHP Yovani Gallardo RHP Ubaldo Jimenez RHP Mike Wright Relievers (8) LHP Zach Britton RHP Darren O’Day RHP Brad Brach RHP Mychal Givens RHP Dylan Bundy LHP T.J. McFarland RHP Tyler Wilson RHP Vance Worley
Catchers (2) C Matt Wieters C Caleb Joseph
Infielders (5) 1B Chris Davis 2B Jonathan Schoop SS J.J. Hardy 3B Manny Machado UT Ryan Flaherty
Outfielders (5) CF Adam Jones OF/1B Mark Trumbo OF Joey Rickard LF Hyun Soo Kim OF Nolan Reimold
Designated hitter (1) DH Pedro Alvarez
Disabled list (3) RHP Kevin Gausman OF/DH Jimmy Paredes LHP Brian Matusz