The Orioles closed out their Grapefruit League portion of the spring as they lost to the Tampa Bay Rays, 8-5 on Sunday in Sarasota.
Wei-Yin Chen had a rough afternoon as he gave up seven runs – only three earned. He did give up three homers – two to Desmond Jennings, who had three on the day; Evan Longoria also homered off of him.
A enormous J.J. Hardy error in the fourth inning opened up the flood gates for the Rays; however, Chen’s outing was not as terrible as it looked.
Despite Hardy’s miscue in the field, did homer twice – once in the first inning and again in the sixth. Nick Markakis and Nick Johnson also hit homers, as well. Johnson, who should make the squad as a bench player, or part-time designated hitter drove in four runs.
With that all being said, it looks like the Opening Day roster is taking shape despite Buck Showalter not finalizing anything. Heck, he has not even named a starter for April 6th although most in the media are speculating Jake Arrieta will be tabbed.
Here is what I think the roster will be:
C: Matt Wieters
IF: Chris Davis, Robert Andino, J.J. Hardy, Mark Reynolds
OF: Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Nolan Reimold
DH: Wilson Betimit/Nick Johnson
Bench: Endy Chavez, Ronny Paulino
SP: Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen, Tommy Hunter, Brian Matusz,
BP: Jim Johnson, Kevin Gregg, Luis Ayala, Matt Lindstrom, Pedro Strop
The members of the bullpen who are on the bubble are Darren O’Day, Pat Neshek, Zach Phillips, Tsuyoshi Wada and Troy Patton. I think Phillips makes the team as a long reliever who is a southpaw, while Patton starts at Triple-A.
I think Wada start on the disabled list and either O’Day or Neshek ends up in the minors.
When it comes to the outfield, Jai Miller will probably be the odd man out. If he passes through waivers – he has no options left – Miller will be a formidable bat to have in Triple-A. If he can hit there, much like he did last, his bat will be an intriguing option if it is needed.
Ryan Flaherty is battling for an infield spot; however, I think he is a lock for the roster considering what he has done in Florida.