It seems like it was only a few days ago that the Orioles lost their season finale to the Detroit Tigers at Oriole Park and got sent home packing while the MLB Playoffs were just beginning. In reality, a few days ago was actually Orioles Fanfest, meaning that we are a lot closer to the new season than it may seem.
After just signing Mark Hendrickson and Justin Duchscherer over the last few days, the roster seems pretty much set for this reporting date less than two weeks away. Heck, with only a possible Vlad signing in the near future, the acquisitions for the Orioles seem to be complete for the offseason as a whole.
Between starters and relievers, veterans and prospects, and major and minor leaguers, the list of those who will report in Sarasota for these preliminary workouts is full of an interesting variety of names.
Here is a compiled list broken down into categories of the pitchers expected to report to the Ed Smith Stadium Complex on Feb. 13 (those in bold have invites to Spring Training, but are not on the 40 man roster):
- Jeremy Accardo
- Jake Arrieta
- Mitch Atkins
- Brad Bergesen
- Jason Berken
- Zach Britton
- Ryan Drese
- Brandon Erbe
- Armando Gabino
- Mike Gonzalez
- Kevin Gregg
- Jeremy Guthrie
- Mark Hendrickson
- Jim Johnson
- Luis Lebron
- Brian Matusz
- Troy Patton
- Wynn Pelzer
- Clay Rapada
- Raul Rivero
- Adrian Rosario
- Jose Rupe
- Chorye Spoone
- Chris Tillman
- Koji Uehara
- Rick VandenHurk
- Pedro Viola
Here are some notes about some different players on that list:
- You will notice a bunch of minor leaguers on this list (Britton, Erbe, Gabino, Patton, Spoone, Viola). That does not necessarily mean that they will be on the roster (some for sure won’t be), it just means that they report to big league camp to start. I am not sure of the date that minor league camp begins.
- Some names you may not recognize:
- Mitch Atkins – He was actually the first Oriole non-roster invitee that we heard of. Drafted in 2004, he has been in the Cubs organization since that year, mostly in down on the farm. Though he pitched in 5 games with the major league club in 2010 (10 IP, 7 ER, 10:6 K:BB), Atkins has compiled a 4.31 ERA in 7 years throughout Chicago’s minor league system (142 starts).
- Mark Hendrickson – Oh, well, you may recognize him. I just wish he wasn’t on this list.
- Clay Rapada – Left handed arm who pitched with the Rangers last season, signed a minor league deal with the O’s on Jan. 26th. The important stat to know of his is that through his various stints (36 total games) in the majors over the last 4 years with 3 different teams, he held left handed batters to a .186 average.
- I honestly don’t know anything about Raul Rivero or Jose Rupe. Looking at Baseball-Reference.com, Rivero has been with the Orioles since 2005 in different low levels of the minor leagues (3.83 career ERA), and most recently ended 2010 with 15 games in Bowie with an ERA of 2.66 over 23.2 IP. As for Rupe; search Google. There’s honestly no information out there on him, nothing on scouting or his statistics. Seriously.
- Adrian Rosario was the Orioles first round pick in the Rule 5 Draft. Never pitching above A ball in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, though with solid stats, will most likely not be kept for too long, therefore being sent back to Brewers camp (which in return gets the Orioles $50k back of the $100k they sent to the team for him, who oddly enough selected Orioles pitcher Pat Egan in the same type of deal, though he is more of a questionable return to us).
- There are definitely a lot of options on that list for all roles on the Orioles roster, like the rotation, long reliever, LOOGY, closer, and more. The competitions in camp for the pitching spots should be very unique to watch. We haven’t been this unsure of the Orioles pitching staff in years.
- Again, we can all hope and pray that Mark Hendrickson fails to make the team.
- Dan Connolly of The Sun recently said this when talking about who will be at Spring Training:
The Orioles will probably have no more than 60 at big league camp, so that leaves about five to seven more spots that we don’t know about yet. Some could be filled internally with minor leaguers already in the system, and others could be taken by minor league free agents that haven’t been publicized yet as signing with the club. The Orioles usually do that in one official group announcement.
- Connolly goes on to use Nick Bierbrodt as an example of a guy who has a minor league deal (just signed last week) who did not initially get an invitation, but could end up with one. Other options that have just recently joined the organization include Chris Jakubauskas, Mark Worrell, and James Houser
- Adam Donachie
- Jake Fox
- Michel Hernandez
- Caleb Joseph
- Craig Tatum
- Matt Wieters
No surprises in that list, with a mix of major leaguers and the starting catchers from the Orioles’ top minor league clubs.
The 2011 baseball season is almost here.