We’re just days away from the start of the 2013 season and a number of questions remain on the table for the Baltimore Orioles.
Here are a few things Buck Showalter and the O’s need to iron out before April 2.
1. Will Nick Markakis avoid the disabled list?
At this point, the Orioles have given no reason for me to think that Nick Markakis will begin the season on the DL. He DH’ed with the big league club on Tuesday and is expected to play right field in Wednesday’s matchup. If the O’s didn’t expect him to start on Opening Day, he’d likely be rehabbing in minor league camp.
2. Will the O’s carry three catchers?
According to MASNSports.com’s Roch Kubatko, they will not. Chris Robinson will surely be the odd man out and as we posted earlier this week, the O’s are still looking for catching depth and are reportedly shopping Luis Ayala to find it.
3. Is Ryan Flaherty a lock for making this team?
It sure seems like Ryan Flaherty is making the cut. With Wilson Betemit out with a PCL tear, Flahery provides the left handed bat that Buck Showalter needs.
4. Who wins the other bench job?
Steve Pearce has to be a candidate. He’s hitting .375/.422/.900 with six homers and 16 RBI this spring. Kubatko also notes that Conor Jackson (.320/.346/.560 with three homers and six RBI this spring) is also still on the big league roster.
5. So who’s the fifth starter?
This question might not be answered for a while. The Orioles really have until April 6 to figure it out. Chris Tillman apparently may not break camp with the Orioles, which makes the rotation even more of a question than we originally thought. Does that mean Brian Matusz will go back to starting? Will Steve Johnson win a job? Oh yeah, what about Jair Jurrjens? We’ll have to be patient for this question to be answered.