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Orioles getting set to issue invitations to camp

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Orioles getting set to issue invitations to camp

The Orioles should be announcing their invitations to spring training this week. By my unofficial count, there are at least 16 players with minor league contract getting invites, and there could be a few more.

Manager Buck Showalter likes to keep the number in camp below 60 because he doesn’t want to use the auxiliary clubhouse, and besides he wants to have a fair look at everyone in camp.

In November, the Orioles announced a few minor league signees who were getting invitations, and they’re included among these.

Pitchers:

Pedro Beato-He had a good year with Norfolk in 2015. Beato was originally picked by the Orioles with the 32nd pick of the 2006 draft. He was lost to the Mets four years later in the Rule 5 draft and returned to the organization last year after going 4-2 with a 4.34 ERA in 84 games from 2011-14 with New York, Boston and Atlanta

Jeff Beliveau-A left-handed signed in December with a 1-0 record and 4.00 ERA in 58 games with the Cubs and Rays from 2012-15

Cesar Cabral-Another left-hander who pitched two scoreless innings for the Orioles last year. Also pitched in 12 games with the Yankees in 2013-14.

Hunter Harvey-The Orioles’ first pick in 2013 hasn’t pitched competitively since July 2014, but looked good in last month’s minicamp.

Todd Redmond-He’s 5-8 with a 4.25 ERA in 67 games with the Reds and Blue Jays. Was in camp with the Orioles in 2013.

Ashur Tolliver-Yet another left-hander. He’s been in the Orioles organization since 2009, but hasn’t pitched above Double A.

If C.J. Riefenhauser passes through waivers, that’s still another left-hander who could get an camp invite.

MORE ORIOLES: Despaigne has options

Catchers:

Jonah Heim-The Orioles like this young man who bears a resemblance to Matt Wieters. Hasn’t caught above Delmarva yet.

Audry Perez-He played three games with the Cardinals in 2013-14 and worked well as a catcher in Norfolk a year ago.

Chance Sisco-Ended last season with Bowie, and could get a look this spring, too.

Infielders:

Paul Janish-The Orioles haven’t officially announced his signing, but of all the non-roster players, he stands the best chance to make the ballclub, especially if there’s an injury in the middle infield. Janish played with the team for the last six weeks of 2015 and has tons of major league experience. A slick fielder who didn’t hit badly last season.

Trey Mancini-The Eastern League’s batting champion, Mancini gets his first invitation to big league camp. His path at first base is seemingly blocked by Chris Davis, but maybe there’s a position change in the future—for Davis—or Mancini. He’ll be with Norfolk this season.

Ozzie Martinez-This shortstop had a fine season with Bowie, and the Orioles were happy to re-sign him. Martinez played 33 games for the Marlins in 2010-11.

Steve Tolleson-He returns to the organization after three years away. He played 29 games for the Orioles in 2012, delivering some key hits. His time in Toronto ended badly, but Showalter has a soft spot for infielders who can help young pitchers develop in the minors.

Outfielders:

Xavier Avery-He was traded to Seattle for Michael Morse in Aug. 2013, and after stops in four other organizations, is back. His only big league action came in 2012 when he played in 32 games for the Orioles.

L.J. Hoes-The Orioles reacquired Hoes in November from Houston, and he seemingly had a decent chance to make the team, but was designated for assignment last month when Efren Navarro came aboard. Hoes passed through waivers and was outrighted to Norfolk last week.

Alfredo Marte-Like Avery, Beliveau and Janish, his signing has never been officially announced. Marte played in 71 games the Diamondbacks and Angels from 2013-15.

Joey Terdoslavich-This Sarasota native was on the 40-man roster for a few weeks, but was dropped when Davis re-signed. Can play first base and the outfield. The switch-hitter played in 92 games in Atlanta from 2013-15.

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

The 2018 Major League All-Star Game is less than a month away. Fan votes are well underway and early frontrunners are close to locking their position in the Midsummer Classic.

Yesterday, we projected how the National League roster will play out. Today it is time to look at the American League roster projection.

For five straight seasons, the AL has had the upper hand in the MLB All-Star Game. In 2018, it does not appear that will change as the American League roster will be loaded from top to bottom.

As a reminder, here is how the process shakes out, first with the fan vote, players’ ballots, and the MLB Commissioner’s Office:

  • Fan vote: nine position players in AL (DH)/ eight in NL; plus final vote for each league
  • Player’s ballots: next 17 players in AL/ 16 players in NL; (five starting pitchers, three relievers must be chosen)
  • MLB Commissioner’s Office: five AL players (four pitchers, one position player) and seven NL players (four pitchers, three position players)

One player from each team must make the initial roster (before injury withdraws, etc.). Below is how it looks the American League roster will play out, considering the latest fan vote returns:

American League All-Star Roster Projection:

C – Wilson Ramos, Rays (Fan Vote), Gary Sánchez, Yankees (Player Ballot)
1B – José Abreu, White Sox (Fan Vote), Joey Gallo, Rangers (Player Ballot)
2B – Jose Altuve, Astros (Fan Vote), Jed Lowrie, Athletics (Player Ballot)
3B – José Ramírez, Indians (Fan Vote), Yangervis Solarte, Blue Jays (Player Ballot), Mike Moustakas, Royals (Commissioner’s Office)
SS – Manny Machado, Orioles (Fan Vote), Jean Segura, Mariners (Player Ballot),
OF – Mookie Betts, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Mike Trout, Angels (Fan Vote), Aaron Judge, Yankees (Fan Vote), Michael Brantley, Indians (Player Ballot), Eddie Rosario, Twins (Player Ballot), Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (Player Ballot),
DH – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Shohei Ohtani, Angels (Player Ballot)

SP – Justin Verlander, Astros (Player Ballot), Luis Severino, Yankees (Player Ballot), Corey Kluber, Indians (Player Ballot), Chris Sale, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Gerrit Cole, Astros (Player Ballot), Blake Snell, Tampa Bay (Commissioner’s Office)

RP – Edwin Díaz, Mariners (Player Ballot), Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Aroldis Chapman, Yankees (Player Ballot), Joe Jiménez, Tigers (Commissioner’s Office), Delin Betances, Yankees (Commissioner’s Office), Chris Devenski, Astros (Commissioner’s Office)

Manager: Jeff Luhnow, Astros

Based on this projection, the New York Yankees will have the most representatives with six. The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox will both have four.

Ensuring no snubs, there will be five players selected for the final fan vote to get one more All-Star into the game for a total of 32 for the American League. As you can see, no matter how the AL roster plays out, it will be a dominant team once again as they look for six straight All-Star wins.

Four of those five wins were inside a National League stadium and that will not change as the Washington Nationals will host this season.

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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado took an even larger lead in the latest update for 2018 MLB All-Star Game voting.

The superstar shortstop maintained his position at the top of American League shortstops in the second round of All-Star voting updates, released Tuesday morning. 

After the first ballot was released, Machado led the shortstops category by over 100,00 votes.

This week, he now holds north of a 200,000-vote lead over last year’s American League starter, Carlos Correa.

The Astros’ Correa jumped from fourth to second this past week while the Indians’ Francisco Lindor dropped to third.  

Machado now has 671,133 votes, seventh among all American League players. For the second straight week, Machado remained the only Orioles player on the list.

Through 69 games in 2018, Machado is batting .310 with 18 home runs, 15 doubles and 53 RBIs. He is posting his best OPS (.945) and on-base percentage (.377) in his career, a bright spot for the O’s, who sit dead last in MLB with a 20-50 record.

The All-Star voting will be open until July 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET and fans can vote five times every 24 hours.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 26.

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