Hall of Fame voter Mark Zuckerman on the 2014 class
The Orioles now have a dozen candidates for the outfield. If they allow Jack Cust, who’s been working out with them this week at their minicamp in Sarasota, Fla. to come to spring training, it will be a baker’s dozen.
And, it won’t be a shock if even more are added in the four weeks before camp begins on Feb. 13.
Most of the names are unfamiliar. Sure, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis are guaranteed spots, but David Lough’s arrival came amidst the great Grant Balfour controversy and was somewhat overlooked.
Lough is the favorite to start in left. Then, there are Steve Pearce and Nolan Reimold, who were re-signed, but not sure things to make the club.
Then, there’s Henry Urrutia, who a year ago was still in Haiti, trying to make it to the U.S. Urrutia is attempting to convince the Orioles he’s not only a major league hitter, but a big league outfielder, too.
Francisco Peguero was signed last month as a free agent. He came from the San Francisco Giants, and the Orioles are reportedly set to announce the signing of Tyler Colvin on Thursday.
Colvin had a strong year in 2012 with Colorado, but a weak one last year. He would be the eighth outfielder on the 40-man roster.
Then, there are the minor league free agents. Julio Borbon was drafted last month. Xavier Paul was signed in December, and earlier this month, Quintin Berry. This week, Delmon Young, who immediately became the favorite to be the right-handed hitting designated hitter.
Are outfielders cheaper by the dozen?
Familiarize yourself with these names. Perhaps half of them will be coming north in late March. There may be some new names in the mix, too.
As we’ve seen in the past, the Orioles aren’t reluctant to make moves. Some of these, and others, will be recalled from Norfolk, perhaps for a day or two and sent back, depending on the club’s needs.