The Baltimore Orioles are looking for a slew of rotation candidates to push the holdovers in competition for their two to three open slots this winter. John Means and Alex Cobb appear locked into their turns, and Asher Wojciechowski has a spot to lose. MASN’s Roch Kubatko quoted GM Mike Elias recently, on Wojiechowski: “…if the season started today I think he’d absolutely project for a rotation spot if he shows up in good health at spring training.”
Still, from everything Elias has said so far this winter, his primary goal is to add enough pitching depth at the major league level such that they don’t get caught promoting prospects up the totem pole before they’re ready. Baltimorebaseball.com’s Rich Dubroff explores potential retreads, casting Kevin Gausman as likely out of Baltimore’s price range, while he sees an Andrew Cashner reboot as within the realm of possibility. Cashner does check a lot of boxes in that he won’t cost much, he’s good for 150 innings or so a year, and he won’t be cowed by having to wear one here and there for the rebuilding Orioles. The Athletic’s Dan Connolly adds his own list of potential rotation options like Martin Perez, Shelby Miller, Drew Smyly, Chad Bettis, and other reclamation projects of that ilk.
Caleb Joseph is another ex-Oriole who could return. Elias won’t necessarily be drawn to former Orioles the way others in the building might, but he is on the lookout for a veteran backstop to complete their catching quartet. Pedro Severino, 25, is a lock for one roster spot after a mini breakout at the plate that saw him put up a .249/.321/.420 line while starting just over half of Baltimore’s games. Statcast ranked his glovework in the bottom half of the league in both poptime and framing, while by Baseball Prospectus’ Fielding Runs Above Average, a -13.8 FRAA mark landed him next to last (Josh Phegley).
Chance Sisco should have a chance to claim the other spot, though his defensive marks didn’t grade out much better (-11.1 FRAA). Austin Wynns rounds out the group as presently constituted, though he spent most of last year in the minors.
The other well-known area of focus simply from the standpoint of needing to roster enough bodies to make it through a 162-game season is the middle infield. Hanser Alberto figures to see significant playing time at second, while Stevie Wilkerson, Dilson Herrera, Pat Valaika, Jose Rondon and Richie Martin make up the contenders, though nobody from that group is guaranteed – or even necessarily favored – to secure an Opening Day roster spot.