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Orioles select contract of outfielder Craig Gentry; Opening Day roster now set

Craig Gentry had his contract selected by the Orioles to complete what was a straight-forward Opening Day roster announcement.

The Orioles 25-man roster for Opening Day, revealed in bits and pieces over the past few weeks, didn't contain any surprises when fully announced Sunday.

Outfielder Craig Gentry had his contract selected from Triple-A Norfolk, meaning the veteran fourth outfielder has made the club. He'll join a crowded outfield that also includes center fielder Adam Jones, plus Mark Trumbo, Seth Smith, Hyun Soo Kim, Joey Rickard, and Trey Mancini rotating through the corner spots.

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The infielders and catching corps are composed as expected, with Welington Castillo and Caleb Joseph the two backstops and Chris Davis, Jonathan Schoop, J.J. Hardy, and Manny Machado the infield starters, backed up by Ryan Flaherty.

A schedule heavy on days off early this month allows the team to carry just three starting pitchers — Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy and Ubaldo Jimenez.

The team will likely need to add another starting pitcher by April 9, and then call up a fifth starter by April 15.

Eight relievers will be in the Orioles' bullpen to start the season. Five — closer Zach Britton, Brad Brach, Darren O'Day, Mychal Givens, and Donnie Hart — were locks all camp long. Vidal Nuno and Tyler Wilson were the two long relievers taken out of spring training, while Oliver Drake, who is out of minor league options, grabbed the final bullpen spot despite a difficult spring.

The three players expected to start the season on the disabled list — right-hander Chris Tillman (right shoulder bursitis), left-hander Wade Miley (upper respiratory infection) and outfielder Anthony Santander (right forearm strain) — were all placed there Sunday, paving the way for a roster heavy on position players. Those moves are retroactive to March 30, meaning Miley can start on April 9.

Additionally, Rule 5 outfielder Aneury Tavarez was returned to the Boston Red Sox. The club placed him on outright waivers Wednesday, but none of the other 28 teams claimed him. The Orioles could still trade for him to get him back without the Rule 5 roster requirements.

To pare the roster to 25, right-hander Gabriel Ynoa and left-hander Jayson Aquino were optioned to Norfolk. Those two are candidates to start on April 15, when the club needs a fifth starter.

Two other players on the 40-man roster had their assignments transferred. Dariel Alvarez, the Cuban outfielder who is converting to pitching this season, was sent from Norfolk to Class-A Delmarva, while right-hander Jason Garcia was sent from Norfolk to Double-A Bowie to begin the year.

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