Baltimore Orioles Begin Spring Training Amid Alarming Rotation Concerns

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 13: Caleb Joseph
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 13: Caleb Joseph /

Baltimore Orioles spring training 2018 is finally here as pitchers and catchers report to Ed Smith Stadium in sunny Sarasota, Florida. Here’s a recap of Day 1 of O’s spring training.

Baltimore Orioles baseball is back in action for 2018. Feb. 13 marks the day Orioles pitchers and catchers report to spring training. However, this year, the Orioles are on the short end of starting pitchers.

Entering the first official day of spring training, the Orioles have three sports available in their starting rotation. Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman are the only two starters solidified in the 2018 rotation.

From there, the Orioles official website ( list Miguel Castro as the No. 3 starter, followed by Gabriel Yona and Alec Asher. Fortunately, the rejuvenated free agent market for starting pitchers includes some Orioles rumors and news.

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According to’s Dan Connolly, the Orioles are expected to trade or sign one starting pitcher before Orioles Opening Day. However, his report also includes the prediction of Mike Wright competing for a rotation spot in April.

Furthermore,’s Roch Kubatko reported over the weekend the Orioles have reached out to the Houston Astros regarding right-handed pitcher Collin McHugh. Even more, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported the Orioles interest in Tampa Bay Rays Jake Odorizzi.

Ubaldo Jimenez‘s four seasons in Baltimore seemed to traumatize Orioles owner Peter Angelos, who is now hesitant to offering a starting pitcher another four-year contract, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.

Crasnick reports the free agent starters the Orioles have drawn interest to which includes long-time St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn, often involved in Orioles rumors Andrew Cashner, Jason Vargas, Alex Cobb and former O’s pitcher Chris Tillman. So there’s another roadblock in the Orioles pursuit to acquire a starter.

Internal rotation options include Rule 5 draft pick Nestor Cortes, Jayson Aquino, and mentioned earlier, Mike Wright.

Arguably most intriguing of the three pitchers is Cortes. The 23-year-old pitched for three minor league teams in 2017 going 7-4 in 13 starts with an outstanding 2.06 ERA. The season prior, Cortes pitched 106 innings with an even better 1.53 ERA in the minors.

Above all, the Orioles have opened every spring training under Orioles EVP Dan Duquette with rotation needs only to add significant pieces just before Opening Day. For example, Duquette signed Nelson Cruz, Yovani Gallardo and Jimenez in the midst of O’s spring training.

Orioles Spring Training Day 1 Highlights and Reaction

The Orioles back in warm Sarasota, Fl. as pitchers and catchers report, along with many other players on the Orioles roster.

Next: Uncertainty Reigns as Pitchers and Catchers Report to Orioles Spring Training

Although many positional players are already at the Ed Smith Stadium complex, the official due date for the rest of the Orioles roster is Feb. 18 with first full team workouts to begin Feb. 19. The Orioles first spring training game is not too far away on Feb. 23 at 1:05 p.m. ET against the Tampa Bay Rays.