Orioles Face a Roster Crunch
The Baltimore Orioles’ late offseason additions of Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz gave fans renewed hope and manager Buck Showalter some roster dilemmas. Showalter figured to spend most of Spring Training sorting his options at second base, left field, designated hitter, and the fifth spot in the rotation. The new arrivals and improved depth have put players like Steve Pearce, Henry Urrutia, Delmon Young, Michael Almanzar, Nolan Reimold, Josh Stinson, and Alfredo Aceves on the roster bubble.
Jimenez rounds out a starting rotation that will include Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez, and Bud Norris. Kevin Gausman, the team’s top prospect, was once assumed to be a candidate to be the fifth starter but now figures to begin the season at Triple-A Norfolk. Gausman is the team’s top standby starter in the event of injury or further struggles from Bud Norris. The Orioles also added veteran lefty Johan Santana on a minor league deal. The former Cy Young winner is rehabbing from injury and may not be ready to pitch for another few months. The Jimenez and Santana deals created a ripple effect in the pitching depth at the top of the organization. With Gausman slated to begin the season in the minors, and Dylan Bundy expected to pitch at some point this summer, the Orioles can let both youngsters develop at their own pace.