Each year, teams around the league invite a handful of players to basically try out for a spot on their MLB roster, or they get assigned to one of their minor league teams. As of Tuesday, the Baltimore Orioles had 19 non-roster invitees along with the 41 other roster players on their 2013 spring training roster.
Typically these players are either past their prime, or they have been journeymen throughout their careers, meaning that have bounced from team to team with regularity.
The first name that stands out to me is Conor Jackson, who last played in the majors in Sept. of 2011 with the Boston Red Sox. Before being bounced around in the minor leagues with a few teams, he has received another opportunity with the Orioles. Jackson could be a great source of production at the first base position, something the O’s have longed for. Jackson will likely not have the same pop that former first baseman, Mark Reynolds did, but there will be few strike outs, that’s for sure.
The next guy that has some potential impact in 2013 is Chris Dickerson, former New York Yankees outfielder in 2012. No he hasn’t played a full 162 game season, however if given the chance to play on a consistent basis, he could easily contribute. Dickerson has great legs and his career stats show that he could easily steal at least 20 bases in a full season. With a cluttered outfield as Nolan Reimold and Nick Markakis return from injury, this roster move is highly unlikely.
Veteran pitcher, Mark Hendrickson also received a welcome back invite to the Orioles spring training. Hendrickson last pitched in the majors with the Orioles in 2011. Hendrickson actually lives near my hometown in Pennsylvania and is occasionally spotted working out at the local YMCA during the off-season. He is a great team guy who can spot start or be used as a middle reliever when needed. The 6-foot-9 Hendrickson, a former NBA player, presents a rare delivery point for any hitter to face.
Orioles manager, Buck Showalter has been known for bringing in guys that mix things up when it comes to pitching. There have been reports that Hendrickson has been working on a new side arm delivery. An example of this concept points to the signing of Darren O’Day prior to the 2012 season. O’Day is best known for his drop down, submarine style delivery.
Those players are just three of the 19 non-roster invitees for the birds as they prepare to embark on the 2013 season. A few Orioles from last season are on that list, which includes Lew Ford and Steve Pearce. The O’s first exhibition game is Feb. 23, at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida.
Corey Righter is a columnist/writer for RantSports, primarily covering the Baltimore Orioles. You can follow him on Twitter @Mrrighter.