Baltimore Orioles Show Their Outfield Depth Against Toronto Blue Jays
Six different players saw time in the outfield, and five of those players recorded a hit. The only one who didn’t was starting center fielder Adam Jones. David Lough was 1-for-2 with a walk, Nick Markakis was 1-for-3, Julio Borbon and Xavier Paul both went 1-for-2 and Francisco Peguero was 2-for-2 with three RBIs.
That list doesn’t even include the three outfielders who saw time at DH or Nolan Reimold, who didn’t play.
The depth in the outfield is setting up a big battle for the final spots in the Orioles’ outfield. Jones and Markakis will be the the starters in center and right field respectively, but beyond that, not much is certain. The Orioles signed Nelson Cruz to be the designated hitter, which takes away an option for one of the outfielders. Lough and Reimold are likely the most affected by the signing as they were slated to see the left fielder and designated hitter respectively. They now enter the battle for what should be final outfield spots.
The Orioles will have a starting left fielder and a reserve outfielder on their Opening Day roster, or they could go with a platoon in left and possibly keep a fifth outfielder. Lough and Reimold should find themselves on the Opening Day roster, but if the other outfielders keep producing like they did against the Blue Jays, it could turn into a tough decision on who to keep and who to send to the minors.
Of the other outfielders, Peguero has the best shot. Performances like the one against the Blue Jays where he drove in three runs on a bases clearing triple, will help his case. Borbon and Paul are both non-roster invitees and seem destined for the minors, but strong performances could put them in contention. The Orioles also have Delmon Young and Quintin Berry in camp, and both of those players will look to make the team. The signing of Cruz probably eliminates Young, as they are similar players, and Berry is a speedster who seems like a long shot if Lough is on the roster.
The Orioles find themselves with a lot of options for just a few spots and it should be interesting to see how the situation plays out during Spring Training.
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