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Setting the roster

With less than a week left before the regular season starts, the Orioles have most of their roster in place. By my count, 19 players are locks to make the Opening Day squad, which leaves six slots open to competition. (Three injured players—four, if Mark McLemore is added to the roster—will start the season on the disabled list.)

The starting lineup has been determined, and four-fifths of the pitching rotation is set. The fifth starter will be either Rodrigo López or Erik Bedard, according to today's Washington Post. Five relievers are assured places in the bullpen. Depending on how many position players Mazzilli wants on his bench, he may choose to keep eleven or twelve pitchers, leaving room for one or two relievers from among Bedard, López, and Rick Bauer.

That leaves four or five spots on the bench for position players. As reported last week, Jack Cust is likely to make the roster as a backup outfielder/DH. Another spot will be given to the backup catcher, who will be either Gerónimo Gil or Keith Osik. McLemore's injury allows either Clay Bellinger or Luis López to fill the backup infielder role for at least the initial part of the season, although Jim Beattie was quoted in the Post as having interest in Damian Jackson, recently released by the Rockies.

The final decision on the bench will likely be whether to keep untested Rule 5 draftee José Bautista or aging local favorite B.J. Surhoff. If the team goes with an eleven-man pitching staff, it may be able to keep both Bautista and Surhoff for the early part of the season. Carlos Méndez is a longshot to squeak onto the roster as an emergency catcher and pinch-hitter.

The latest camp depth chart appears below along with some of the likely starters at Triple-A Ottawa.

Starting lineup (9):

c J. López
1b Palmeiro
2b Roberts
3b Mora
ss Tejada
lf Bigbie
cf Matos
rf Gibbons
dh Seguí

Rotation (5):

sp Ponson
sp DuBose
sp Ainsworth
sp Riley
sp R. López/Bedard

Bullpen (6 or 7):

rp Julio
rp DeJean
rp Groom
rp Ryan
rp Parrish
rp Bauer/Bedard/R. López (choose 1 or 2)

Bench (4 or 5):

c Gil/Osik (choose 1 or 2)
if J. Bautista/Bellinger/L. López/Méndez/D. Jackson (choose 2 or 3)
of Cust
of Surhoff (?)

15-day DL:

2b Hairston
if McLemore (currently nonroster)
sp Daal

60-day DL:

of Cordova

Waiting in the AAA wings (* on 40-man MLB roster):

c Gil*/Machado/Osik
1b Mendez
2b Fontenot
3b León
ss Garabito
of Raines*
of McDonald*
of Swann
sp Bedard*/Bauer*/R. López*
sp Forystek*
sp Stephens*
rp Ramsay
rp E. Rodríguez*
rp A. Rakers

Comments (5)


Surhoff was "aging" 2-3 years ago at least; I think he's actually moved well past "crusty" by now, though he'll always be "manly and meaty" to some.

Anyway, I just happened on this blog, and it's good. It's about time someone competent starting blogging about the O's. (Actually, it's about time _anyway_ started doing it.) I'm surprised you're not on the Baseball Primer Clutch Hits sidebar. There's got to be a few O's fans out there. Good luck, keep writing.


uh, _anyone_ started . . . obviously.

Basil, we really only started blogging seriously on the Orioles recently, so that's why it isn't on Baseball Primer's blogroll. I'm a regular reader over at Primer, and I'm sure Sean/Jim will get around to adding it to their blogroll after they finish the site redesign.


As a Rays fan, I was interested in seeing that Mazzilli went with Bedard over Lopez. That means the two rookies go aginst us in that first weekend series.


David, yeah I noticed your blogging calendar after I posted. I mainly lurk Primer, except I do all the Bearded Wizard posts. (No, not really...) Does rec.sport.baseball get any traffic still?


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