Predicting the O’s 25-Man Roster

Anybody up for a roster prediction? Why not, right? At Dillon’s suggestion, I asked our writers to submit their predictions for the 25-man, then tallied up the votes to put together a master prediction. You can see individual submissions down below the main list. We’ll do the same thing again as Spring Training comes to a close, to see how much our minds are swayed between now and then. – Derek Arnold


Starting Pitchers

Dylan Bundy of the Baltimore Orioles winds up to pitch.

GulfBird Sports/Craig Landefeld

Dylan Bundy (7 out of a possible 7 votes)

Alex Cobb (7)

Andrew Cashner (7)

Nate Karns (6)

David Hess (5)

Others receiving votes: Yefry Ramirez (2)


Relief Pitchers

GulfBird Sports/Craig Landefeld

Michael Givens (7)

Richard Bleier (7)

Tanner Scott (7)

Pedro Araujo (7)

Miguel Castro (6)

Paul Fry (6)

Mike Wright (6)

Others receiving votes: Jimmy Yacabonis (4), Branden Kline (1), Bo Schultz (1), Evan Phillips (1)



GulfBird Sports/Craig Landefeld

Jonathan Villar (7)

Richie Martin (7)

Alcides Escobar (7)

Chris Davis (6)

Drew Jackson (6)

Renato Nunez (5)

Others receiving votes: Rio Ruiz (2), Ryan Mountcastle (1)



GulfBird Sports/Craig Landefeld

Trey Mancini (7)

Cedric Mullins (7)

DJ Stewart (6)

Eric Young Jr. (4)

Others receiving votes: Joey Rickard (3), Austin Hays (1)



GulfBird Sports/Craig Landefeld

Chance Sisco (7)

Austin Wynns (6)

Others receiving votes: Carlos Perez (1)


Designated Hitter

GulfBird Sports/Craig Landefeld

Mark Trumbo (7)


–Submissions by Author (with explanations/notes as desired)–


Derek Arnold


Bundy, Cashner, Cobb, Karns, Hess


Givens, Bleier, Castro, Fry, Araujo, Wright, Scott


Davis, Villar, Martin, Jackson, Nunez, Escobar


Mancini, Mullins, Stewart, Young Jr.


Sisco, Wynns




Dillon Atkinson

Starting Pitchers (5)

  • RHP Dylan Bundy
  • RHP Alex Cobb
  • RHP Andrew Cashner
  • RHP Nate Karns
  • RHP David Hess

There will be multiple other considerations for the final two rotation spots, but for the time being I’m going to go with the two who I believe are the favorites in Karns and Hess.

Relief Pitchers (7)

  • RHP Mychal Givens
  • LHP Richard Bleier
  • RHP Miguel Castro
  • LHP Tanner Scott
  • LHP Paul Fry
  • RHP Mike Wright
  • RHP Pedro Araujo

Despite the O’s using Wright strictly as a reliever in 2018, the new staff is stretching him back out to be a starter, which hints to me they see something in him that they can work with. However, I think he misses out on the rotation but gets an advantage in the bullpen over Jimmy Yacabonis by having no minor-league options remaining. Once Araujo serves his required 17 days on the 25-man roster to shed his Rule V status, I think the club will then option Araujo to recall Yacabonis to the major-league bullpen.

Catchers (2)

  • C Chance Sisco
  • C Carlos Pérez

With the wide-open competition for both catcher spots this spring, it’s tough to make a confident guess on either the starter or backup role. However, I think the new staff is going to give Sisco, a former top prospect, every opportunity in Sarasota to leave his mark, and I believe he’ll make the most of those opportunities to earn the Opening Day nod. Austin Wynns was an extremely tough omission, but I think the defensively-savvy veteran Pérez will have the slight edge come regular season.

Infielders (6)

  • 1B Chris Davis
  • 2B Jonathan Villar
  • 3B Renato Núñez
  • SS Alcides Escobar
  • INF Richie Martin
  • UT Drew Jackson

Similar to the reliever situation, I have Núñez beating out Rio Ruiz for the third base job based on the fact that he’s out of options. It’ll be tough for the team to carry both Rule V infielders in Martin and Jackson, but the latter’s case is helped by the fact that the O’s have also used him in the outfield this spring, making him more versatile.

Outfielders/Designated Hitter (5)

  • LF Trey Mancini
  • CF Cedric Mullins
  • RF DJ Stewart
  • OF Eric Young Jr.
  • DH Mark Trumbo

I have Young Jr. edging out Joey Rickard for the final outfield spot on the roster, but Rickard’s fate could change if Trumbo is not cleared for the beginning of the season. In the event Trumbo is placed on the newly-termed “injured list,” this could open the door for many players on the bubble, like Rickard, Ruiz, Wynns, Austin Hays, Stevie Wilkerson, or Jace Peterson, among multiple others.


Phil Backert


Chance Sisco, Austin Wynns


The young duo will get a chance to prove they belong in the big leagues after inconsistencies plagued both in 2018. Sisco’s bat is what helped him get to the majors, but his swing had too many holes so the 24-year-old must prove he has fixed those flaws as his defense will always be a question mark.


Mark Trumbo, Chris Davis, Jonathan Villar, Alcides Escobar, Rio Ruiz, Richie Martin, Drew Jackson


The Orioles are prioritizing defense, which gives Ruiz the edge over Renato Nunez. However, Ruiz has an option which may be the tiebreaker between the two. Jackson is the wild card as they will try to keep the Rule 5 selection on the roster and he could be used in a super utility role which would allow the team to keep more pitchers. Escobar brings a veteran presence and despite a drop in defense in recent seasons, he should stabilize the middle infield. Escobar’s ability to play third is an added bonus.


Cedric Mullins, Trey Mancini, Joey Rickard, D.J. Stewart


I have changed my mind a few times between Stewart and Austin Hays, but Stewart gets the edge due to a natural platoon between him and Rickard along with Hays missing substantial time in 2018 due to injury. I can see this battle going down to the final days of spring training.


Dylan Bundy, Alex Cobb, Andrew Cashner, Nate Karns, Yefry Ramirez

Mike Wright, Pedro Araujo, Paul Fry, Miguel Castro, Tanner Scott, Richard Bleier, Mychal Givens


The rotation will more than likely consist of all right-handers so it makes sense to include multiple lefties in the ‘pen in Bleier, Fry and Scott. Weather permitting, there aren’t a lot of off-days to start the season so I think the team will lean toward keeping more pitchers to help cover their starters if they struggle and avoid using Araujo as much as possible until he loses his Rule 5 status after the first 17 days of the season.

Overall Thoughts: 

There isn’t a lot of roster flexibility due to three Rule 5 players on the roster and others that are out of options. This is never a good situation, especially for a team that has many young players that will struggle throughout the season. The three-man bench may be extreme, but the Orioles only have two off-days in the first 28 days of the season and face four teams that finished 2018 with at least 90 wins. They are going to need as much pitching available as possible right off the bat.


Matt Pyne

C Chance Sisco, Austin Wynns

Infielders: Chris Davis, Jonathan Villar, Richie Martin, Drew Jackson, Alcides Escobar, Renato Nuñez

Outfielders: Trey Mancini, Cedric Mullins, DJ Stewart, Eric Young Jr

DH: Mark Trumbo

SP: Dylan Bundy, Andrew Cashner, Alex Cobb, Nate Karns, Jimmy Yacabonis

RP: Mychal Givens, Richard Bleier, Paul Fry, Tanner Scott, Branden Kline, Bo Schultz, Pedro Araujo


Paul Valle

Every spring, journalists and reporters enter spring training and attempt to predict the opening day 25-man roster; a bit of a foolish endeavor so early in camp, but a rite of passage nonetheless. At Eutaw Street Report, several of us have been tasked with doing just that. This is my attempt. Take this with a grain of salt, because what do I know?


Chris Davis

Jonathan Villar

Alcides Escobar

Rio Ruiz

Richie Martin

Drew Jackson


* Escobar was signed to be the everyday shortstop, minor league contract notwithstanding.

* Ruiz is a Hyde/Elias guy. If his defense is better than Renato Nunez (it is), he’s the opening day third baseman. Plus, he’s versatile and can handle other positions steadily.

* Martin’s defense is a plus, and with his vision issues corrected, the Orioles are intrigued by his bat and ceiling. He’ll get a chance to stick.

* Jackson has a solid glove and cannon for an arm with an ability to play the outfield in a pinch. Plus, the Orioles traded international bonus slot money to the Phillies for him. He makes the team.


Trey Mancini

Cedric Mullins

Eric Young, Jr.


* Mancini is a lock but could move to first base before too long.

* Centerfield is Mullins’ to lose.

* Young is the speedy, veteran outfielder the Orioles were looking for and will have to play his way off the roster.

* Yusniel Diaz and Austin Hays could play well enough to warrant a spot out of spring training, but they won’t head north with the club. No need to start the service clock early on a team headed for its third straight last place finish. They will have their time this summer and beyond.


Chance Sisco

Austin Wynns


* In my catchers preview at the beginning of spring training, I said I expected Jesús Sucre and Austin Wynns to break camp with the club with Sisco catching everyday in Norfolk. Sucre still isn’t in camp, and the more I think about it, the more I think Sisco will hit enough in Grapefruit League action to be the everyday catcher to start the year with Wynns as his back-up.

Designated Hitter

Mark Trumbo


* Trumbo will start the season on the injured list if he can’t prove he can play the field. I expect he will be healthy and thus will be the everyday DH with an occasional start in right field.

Starting Pitchers

Dylan Bundy

Alex Cobb

Andrew Cashner

Nate Karns

David Hess


* With Bundy, Cashner, and Cobb locked into the rotation, I firmly believe Karns was signed to take the fourth spot.

* Hess pitched to 3.88 ERA over his last 10 starts in 2018. The Orioles will allow him to try to continue that stretch into 2019.


Mychal Givens

Richard Bleier

Miguel Castro

Paul Fry

Mike Wright

Tanner Scott

Jimmy Yacabonis

Pedro Araujo


* Scott’s and Yacabonis’ stuff is just too nasty for them to not be given every opportunity to stick early on with a young and rebuilding ball club.

* Mike Wright is out of options and will be given a decent look by a new regime in Baltimore.

* Pedro Araujo has 17 days remaining on his Rule V status. Barring injury, there is no chance he doesn’t travel north with the club. The Orioles will carry three Rule V players on opening day for the second year in row.


Andrew Stetka

Pitchers (12)

Dylan Bundy, Andrew Cashner, Alex Cobb, David Hess, Mike Wright Jr., Yefry Ramirez, Mychal Givens, Richard Bleier, Paul Fry, Tanner Scott, Miguel Castro, Pedro Araujo

Infielders (6)

Chris Davis, Jonathan Villar, Renato Nunez, Richie Martin, Drew Jackson, Alcides Escobar

Outfielders (4)

Trey Mancini, Cedric Mullins, D.J. Stewart, Joey Rickard

Catchers (2)

Chance Sisco, Austin Wynns

Designated Hitters (1)

Mark Trumbo


Joe DiBasilio

This season is so bizarre for a number of reasons but for me one of the biggest is the fact that I am more excited about spring training then I am the regular season. I can’t remember a time that more positions were up for grabs during the spring, with so many young and hungry players looking to make the trip back north. You’ll notice one major absence from my list: Chri$ Davi$. My bold prediction is that the O’s release him at the conclusion of the grapefruit league after he goes 1-23 with 15k’s. This opens the door to move Mancini to first and have Mountcastle’s bat in Baltimore.


Sisco, Wynns

First Base

Mancini, Trumbo, Mountcastle

Second Base


Third Base



Martin, Escobar


Rickard, Mullins, Hays, Stewart

Starting Rotation

Cobb, Bundy, Cashner, Karns, Hess

Bullpen (This is could change quite a bit depending on ST performances)

Givens, Bleier, Wright Jr., Scott, Castro, Phillips, Araujo


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