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What are the five biggest questions for Orioles?


What are the five biggest questions for Orioles?

Spring training begins in 15 days, and while there are still moves to be made for the Orioles, let’s look ahead and see what the biggest storylines in Sarasota are likely to be.

1) Who’s going to be the fifth starter?

In words, the Orioles biggest priority this offseason was to improve their pitcher. In deeds, their biggest priority was to re-sign Chris Davis.

Without Wei-Yin Chen, the Orioles starting rotation has Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman, Miguel Gonzalez and Ubaldo Jimenez.

There needs to be a fifth starter.

Other than a change of heart and a decision to forfeit the 14th pick in the draft for a declining Yovani Gallardo, the Orioles will look internally first.

The killer W’s: Tyler Wilson, Vance Worley and Mike Wright have the first opportunity.

Wilson and Wright have options remaining. Worley doesn’t.

There’s always the bounceback starter option. Mat Latos’ has been linked with the team for a number of weeks, but he remains unsigned.

The Orioles could also make a late trade. Around this time four years ago, they dealt away Jeremy Guthrie, but don’t have a lot they’re willing to trade.

2) Who’s going to play right field?

There are many more attractive free agent candidates here than there are among starting pitchers.

Matt Joyce, David Murphy, Will Venable, Shane Victorino—and others.

A left-handed or switch hitter is preferable.

For the moment, Nolan Reimold is the likely right field starter, but they’d really like another left-handed hitter.

The answer to this question could help answer this next one, too.

3) Who’s going to lead off?

Manager Buck Showalter’s choices seem to be Reimold, Hyun-soo Kim or Manny Machado.

Machado had great success as a leadoff hitter, but Showalter might want to move him lower in the lineup.

Kim has great on-base numbers in South Korea, but he’s on the heavy side for a leadoff guy, and if a right-handed hitter led off, he could bat second with Adam Jones third and Chris Davis fourth.

Reimold has had some experience batting first and it didn’t go badly.

It could also be someone who’s not currently on the roster.

4) How will Kim adapt to playing in the U.S.?

It’s generally assumed that Kim will play left field, but no one has seen him play yet.

That’s a lot of pressure on a player who has yet to experience the rigors of U.S. baseball.

Kim has been working out with Brady Anderson, who insists that players be in tip-top shape, and if he can do well with him, then that’s a strong recommendation.

He showed lots of power as well as the on-base ability in South Korea, and if he could hit 15 home runs with a .285 average, then that would be fine.

But, that’s a difficult assumption to make.

5) Will Dylan Bundy be healthy?

Five of the seven bullpen spots are accounted for with Brad Brach, Zach Britton, Mychal Givens, Brian Matusz and Darren O’Day.

As long as Bundy’s healthy, he’ll have the sixth spot.

Wilson, Worley or Wright could take the seventh. Or it could be Chaz Roe, who dazzled in his first two months with the Orioles and disappointed afterward.

He’s out of options, so if doesn’t make the team, he’d likely be lost on waivers. That’s the case with Worley, too.

T.J. McFarland still has an option, and he’ll probably spend time driving between Baltimore and Norfolk this year.

If Bundy has to start the season in extended spring training or totally on the shelf, that opens up another spot.

There are other questions, too. Who are going to get the final bench spots? It seems that if someone else isn’t signed, Efren Navarro and Rule 5 draft pick Joey Rickard have the advantage.

It’s a big spring for Dariel Alvarez and Henry Urrutia, who’ll try and make strong impressions.

Showalter could decide to keep Paul Janish, who’s back on a minor league contract, too.

NOTE: The Orioles have signed left-handed pitcher Chris Dwyer to a minor league contract. Dwyer pitched three scoreless innings for Kansas City in 2013.

RELATED: Who will be Orioles' Opening Day DH?

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

USA Today Sports

Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A person familiar with the negotiations says pitcher Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract.

The deal includes performance bonuses, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal had not yet been announced.

Tillman was 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 19 starts and five relief appearances last year. He would be the second starter added by the Orioles in the past week after right-hander Andrew Cashner.

Tillman likely would join right-handers Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Cashner in the rotation.

The 29-year-old right-hander lives in Sarasota and had been working out at the Orioles' facility before spring training. Manager Buck Showalter watched Tillman throw and was impressed.

Tillman began last season on the disabled list with right shoulder stiffness.

"Better than he did last year at this time. I think he's got the chance to pitch well for somebody this year," Showalter said. "A lot of the challenges he had last year -- this time last year -- aren't there. Somebody's going to reap the benefits."

Tillman's is 73-55 with a 4.43 ERA in nine major league seasons, all with the Orioles. He won 16 games in both 2013 and 2016.

"He's a guy when he's healthy you can bank on him giving you 200 innings and keeping his ERA between a 3 and a 4," Gausman said. "That in the AL East is always going to be very valuable."


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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

Live baseball is close to gracing our television screens again. The Orioles haven't had the most active offseason, to put it mildly. Fans are still wondering who will make up more than half the spots in this year's rotation, and Manny Machado's upcoming free agency is looming over every decision the organization makes.

Still, it's exciting to be able to follow the team again. Not every game is televised, so get ready to constantly refresh your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll be comforting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Jonathan Schoop is building on his breakout season, or if top-prospect Austin Hays is all he's cracked up to be (spoiler: he is).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing in the next few weeks. The O's haven't yet made a big splash this offseason, but with the sheer volume of capable players still on the market, you have to wonder if they'll try to sign some impact players at bargain values.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the lineup or rotation has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be taking place while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hectic few weeks as teams prepare for thier seasons, so bookmark this page to check on on the Orioles spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Orioles 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Feb. 26 - Tigers at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Cardinals at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 1 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Tuesday, Mar. 6 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 9 - Orioles at Blue Jays, 1:07 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 (SS) - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Phillies at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Orioles at Pirates, 1:05 pm 
Tuesday, Mar. 13 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 14 - Yankees at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Orioles at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 - Orioles at Mets, 1:10 pm 
Saturday, Mar. 17 (SS) - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Mets at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Orioles at Tigers, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Rays at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Orioles at Yankees, 6:35 pm 
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Mar. 27 (in Norfolk, VA) - Orioles at Tides (AAA), 3:05 pm