SARASOTA, Fla. – Buck Showalter will be an incredibly busy man over the next six weeks. Showalter, never known as a slacker, has about two dozen new players to evaluate.
The Orioles have 60 players on their roster, and could sign some more. There are 10 players new to the organization on the 40-man roster:
Pitchers Brad Brach, Kelvin De La Cruz, Edgmer Escalona, Liam Hendriks and Ryan Webb, catcher Johnny Monell, infielders Michael Almanzar and Jemile Weeks and outfielders David Lough, Francisco Peguero.
Pitcher Tim Berry and Chris Jones are in their first major league spring training.
Fourteen of the 20 players who aren’t on the 40-man roster are new to Showalter, too.
There will be plenty of opportunities for Showalter to evaluate them. Besides two weeks of workouts and intrasquad games before the spring play starts on Feb. 28, the Orioles have three split-squad games on March 8, 17 and 26.
Minor league games begin on March 12, and the Orioles can send players to those for evaluation, too.
Here are the five quick questions that have to be answered as we start spring training?
1) Who’s the No. 5 starter?
2) How is Manny Machado’s health?
3) Is Tommy Hunter the closer?
4) Who is the designated hitter?
5) Can the Orioles make any progress on extensions for Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters in time for Opening Day?
These and countless other Orioles questions will be chronicled with our onsite spring training coverage, beginning tomorrow.