Looking back at our blog’s anticipatory writings about the Baltimore Orioles 25-man roster, I see that the first article was written the day after Christmas, and you can see that HERE. In that far-distant and speculative article from three months ago I said, “When you make the list and write down the names, honestly, you get to 20 or more names really quickly that you know, apart from injury or strangely unforeseen events, are locks to be on the roster. So all of the writing and fretting that we do is about a handful of names and positions at most.”
It turned out that I had 19 names correct (Machado would have been #20). So, comparing the lists, here are the differences …
Steve Lombardozzi – For these final two, I was hoping for Manny Machado to be ready, and had Jamile Weeks, not knowing that Lombo would be secured. At that time it was also logical to presume that Michael Almanzar was going to be the security player kept in the event Machado was not ready.
Outfielders / DH
Delmon Young – For the final two, I had Nolan Reimold and Henry Urrutia, as we did not know then that Cruz and Young would be secured. The Orioles would prefer to have the left-handed bat of Urrutia, and I am convinced he will be in Baltimore, sooner than later.
So really, the big “surprises” from what could be surmised in December were the unforeseeable (and frankly unimaginable) signings of Jimenez, Cruz, and (to a lesser extent) Young. And also, there was no way to see the trade of Alex Gonzalez for Lombardozzi.
Beyond that, the great stories of the spring were the way that Stinson and Meek were so excellent in all their outings, along with the total change in body and level of play by Schoop. Even though I called for Clevenger to be the backup catcher, I did not see the 17-for-34 offensive surge! The trick now for the four guys listed in this paragraph will be to play well and stick with the team. There are others who are not far off from capable to take their places.
As Orioles fans, these occasional comparisons of notes three months apart are very informative and encouraging. After suffering the wrath of fans for most of the offseason, DD has built the depth of this 25-man roster and stash of quality players at AAA Norfolk in a way that was not at all visible at the holidays and turn of the year. It really looks good.