Baltimore Orioles Roster Cuts Move Team Closer to Opening Day Roster

SARASOTA, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Audry Perez /

The Baltimore Orioles have an astounding number of players in camp, but that number is dwindling.

The Baltimore Orioles have 55 players at camp, but some cuts have already been made, including some who were rumored to be potential major leaguers.

Late Tuesday, pitchers David Hess and Jeff Ferrell were optioned and reassigned respectively. Both pitched Tuesday and struggled, and neither realistically had a chance of making the Opening Day roster.

Early Tuesday,’s Roch Kubatko reported right-handed pitchers Stefan Crichton, Michael Kelly and Yefry Ramirez to Triple-A Norfolk. In addition, the Orioles reassigned outfielder Jaycob Brugman and lefty pitcher Andrew Faulkner to minor league camp.

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The Orioles like Faulkner, who has pitched in the major leagues for the Texas Rangers. Kelly also has limited experience in the major leagues.

Crichton pitched in eight games last year for the Orioles, and struggled, but will be an option for the Orioles in the bullpen moving forward.

Brugman was acquired from the Oakland Athletics and then designated for assignment when Chris Tillman was signed.

However, Brugman remained in the organization and heads to Triple-A Norfolk. He will be able to gain experience there and put himself in position to ride the Norfolk shuttle potentially this summer.

These cuts come on the heels of cuts Sunday evening.

The surprises here both surround the infielders. Perez wasn’t making the roster and could be a reserve in the minor leagues as well. Gamboa was signed late and needs to continue to work on his knuckleball.

Rosa has been one of the Orioles’ best minor league hitters. Salcedo is well-regarded for his defense. However, Rosa is limited defensively and likely wouldn’t be able to play shortstop, and Salcedo is still young and needs to work on his offense.

With Engelb Vielma, Ruben Tejada and Luis Sardinas also in camp, Rosa and Salcedo both were long shots to make the lineup.

Vielma has been a late addition due to Visa issues and is likely behind his fellow competitors. Tejada has struggled somewhat in the field, while Sardinas has done a pretty good job.

Other additions, such as Danny Valencia, have helped potentially change the way the Orioles look at the utility spot.

This would be a great idea.

Let Tim Beckham serve as the utility guy, as needed.

The Orioles are moving toward setting their roster for Opening Day. That may or may not be the best roster the team can put forward.

For example, Anthony Santander will likely be on that roster. It seems pointless when he only needs to be an Oriole for 44 more days, to not put him on the roster. Santander just hit another home run and has shown power this spring.

Nelson Cortes will also likely be on that roster. Cortes has done a pretty good job this spring and is a left-hander who provides a very different look for hitters. It may be a starter, or as a reliever, but at this point I expect him to be on the team.

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Pedro Araujo has been excellent, and as a bullpen arm, he also may fit the Opening Day roster. Carrying three Rule 5 players, and two pitchers are risky, but no reason not to start the season with those players and see what happens.

The Baltimore Orioles have 28 more players to cut, and the cuts will only be more difficult and involve better players moving forward.