Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he has the Opening Day roster set in his mind, but at this time of year, the team is closely monitoring its options for players who can come in and help off the waiver wire.
The Orioles pitching staff continued to take shape Thursday as manager Buck Showalter announced that right-hander Mike Wright will start the fourth game of the season and fellow pitching prospect Tyler Wilson also made the team.
Since they began the business portion of spring training Thursday ¿ six of their last eight Grapefruit League games are at home, and will feature the regulars they¿ll rely on during the season ¿ the Orioles have hit an eye-popping 12 home runs.
With spring training winding down and another scoreless outing in the books Wednesday against his former team, right-hander Vance Worley arrived for work Thursday no closer to understanding where he fits in the Orioles' pitching picture.
The Orioles ended up traveling to Charlotte Sports Park, but their Grapefruit League game against the Rays lasted just six pitches before a sudden downpour led to the cancellation of Saturday's contest with two outs in the top of the first inning.
Christian Walker¿s powerful spring training continued Thursday at JetBlue Park against the Boston Red Sox, where after a first-inning strikeout he cleared the replica Green Monster in left field with a three-run home run in the third inning of the Orioles¿ 9-5 loss.
Half of their Grapefruit League schedule now completed, the Orioles seem to be no closer to finding answers on two of their most pressing questions entering spring training one month ago: starting pitching and their corner-outfield spots.
Renowned surgeon James Andrews read the results of Orioles catcher Matt Wieters¿ MRI on his sore right elbow, which the Alabama-based doctor performed Tommy John surgery on in 2014, and affirmed that all was structurally sound.
A day after manager Buck Showalter declared the Orioles' competition for a rotation spot something so real that ¿people don¿t quite understand,¿ struggling right-hander Miguel Gonzalez said "we all know that, but he knows what he's doing out there."
It has not been a happy couple of days for Jimmy Paredes, whose attempt to show the Orioles that he can be a viable option in the outfield took a major hit when he rolled over his left wrist trying to make a play in Thursday's exhibition loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
SARASOTA, Fla. ¿ The Orioles¿ early spring training barnstorming tour continues this afternoon as the Orioles play the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, part of a stretch of five road games in their first seven to open the Grapefruit League season.
Spring training competition is nothing new for Orioles right-hander Vance Worley. Every year, it seems, he's trying to prove his worth. This spring, the 28-year-old Worley finds himself with his fourth team in five years, once again fighting for a spot on the 25-man roster.
After the their bats opened their Grapefruit League opener hot, the Orioles blew an early four-run lead in their Grapefruit League opener Tuesday afternoon in a 4-4 tie in 10 innings against the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista.
Most of the Orioles' starting lineup is set, even though the batting order remains unclear. Unless an injury hits the starting rotation, the addition of right-hander Yovani Gallardo gives the Orioles their five starters. The burning questions entering the Grapefruit League schedule center around the team's starting corner outfield spots, the composition of the back end of the bullpen and how the Orioles round out their bench.
Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy hasn¿t worn No. 49 long enough to be attached to the jersey number, so when the team added right-hander Yovani Gallardo ¿ who has worn No. 49 over his entire major league career ¿ he easily gave it up.
Orioles pitching prospects Mike Wright and Tyler Wilson are, by the account of both, good friends who have come up through the minor leagues together, and they are locked in competition for what might be one bullpen/spot starter role on the major league pitching staff.
Whether the Orioles are ultimately able to lock up Yovani Gallardo and Dexter Fowler remains to be seen. Regardless of the outcome, the club heads into spring training this year with few roster and position battles. That's because leading up to this point, the Orioles' offseason focused on keeping its core group intact, and they've done that in retaining first baseman Chris Davis, setup man Darren O'Day and catcher Matt Wieters.
According to Fangraphs¿ projections, the Orioles are forecast to allow the third-most runs per game in the majors this year¿an estimated 4.66 runs per game, ahead of only the Milwaukee Brewers (4.75) and Colorado Rockies (4.85).
The Orioles on Thursday acquired right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne from the San Diego Padres for minor league pitcher Jean Cosme, adding an optionable piece who has started and relieved over the past two season to their pitching staff ahead of spring training.
The Orioles managed to bring back Matt Wieters, Darren O'Day and Chris Davis, three of the six players who were in a position to leave for a possibly more lucrative contract with another team. The price tag was staggering — $207.8 million — and that number figures to rise before the club is through upgrading the pitching staff.
With the player they called their priority, slugging first baseman Chris Davis, now officially locked up, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said the team is still in the market to bolster a pitching staff that many blame for the step backwards in 2015.
Signing Chris Davis to the largest deal in club history won't complete the Orioles' offseason to-do list. They are still seeking to upgrade their rotation and solidify their corner-outfield situation, despite rapidly dissolving markets in both areas.
The Orioles agreed to one-year contracts for 2016 with star third baseman Manny Machado, starters Chris Tillman and Miguel Gonzalez, and infielder Ryan Flaherty ahead of Friday¿s deadline to exchange salary-arbitration figures, according to industry sources.
In the span of just a few months last season, the Orioles transformed left-hander Chris Lee from a lottery ticket with a live arm into a potential starting pitcher with a fastball that reaches the mid-90s and is on the 40-man roster.
New Orioles right-hander Vance Worley arrived in Baltimore earlier this month for his introduction to a new organization, meeting new teammates and interacting with fans at this month¿s FanFest event at the Baltimore Convention Center.
With their roster still in flux and several weighty decisions looming, the Orioles will host their annual FanFest on Saturday at the Baltimore Convention Center in what often is both a celebration of Orioles baseball and a fairly accurate barometer of what fans expect from the club.