Since the end of last season, 13 players have been added to the 40-man roster and others who aren’t on the 40-man have been invited to spring training.
Who are some who could make a difference? Here are some suggestions.
1) Ryan Webb
Webb was an “under the radar” kind of signing for the Orioles. He wasn’t tendered a contract by the Miami Marlins, and Webb was signed to a modest two-year contract in December.
One thing sticks out about Webb. He doesn’t allow many home runs, and in the American League East, that’s a valuable attribute. In Webb’s 266 major league games, he’s allowed just 13 home runs, an average of .4 per nine innings.
Webb could work in the sixth and seventh innings, and perhaps the eighth at times. He doesn’t have any big league saves, and may not, but he still could be a key addition.
2) David Lough
Lough was acquired from Kansas City for Danny Valencia. He’s a late bloomer who is from Akron, Ohio, and played college ball at Mercyhurst in Erie, Pa.
Akron and Erie aren’t known for producing baseball players, and his competition wasn’t strong, and the Orioles hope at 28, he’ll be getting better.
Last year with the Royals, Lough batted .286 in 96 games. For now, Lough is the presumed left fielder. His weaknesses are being too aggressive at the plate and a lack of power.
Lough does have some speed, and if he can steal bases, he could be the left-handed hitting replacement for Nate McLouth.
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3) Brad Brach
Brach is the sort of anti-Webb. He throws hard and walks a lot of batters. He does have a lot of strikeouts, averaging more than 10 per nine innings, but needs to cut down on his walks to be successful.
He pitched 109 games over the past three seasons for San Diego.
With a strong spring training, he could find himself on the Orioles, the team he grew up rooting for.
4) Delmon Young
Young was signed to a minor league contract, so he’s not on the 40-man roster. He has a better resume than some of the players with major league contracts.
He was the No. 1 overall draft pick by Tampa Bay in 2003. In 2007, Young finished second in the Rookie of the Year competition.
In 2010, Young had 21 home runs, 112 RBIs and a .298 average for Minnesota.
Young has played in the last five postseasons for three different teams and has nine homers and 18 RBIs in 33 October games. He had three home runs in five Division Series games for Detroit against the Yankees in 2011.
He’s overly aggressive, strikes out four times as often as he walks, and has had anger issues in the past.
5) Alfredo Aceves
Aceves has been difficult on his managers, but he’s had two terrific seasons. If he has a repeat of 2009 or 2011, the Orioles might have a great find.
In 2009, he was 10-1 with a 3.54 ERA in 43 games for the Yankees. Two years later, Aceves was 10-2 with a 2.61 ERA with the Red Sox.
Aceves hit 15 batters in 2011, and a year later was 2-10 with a 5.36 ERA.
If Aceves can get along with Buck Showalter and his teammates in a relatively easy clubhouse to exist, the Orioles might have a find. He could be a possible swingman.
If the spring doesn’t go well for Aceves, he’ll be looking for another team.