Orioles set 26-man roster despite Opening Day postponement due to rain

0
319

Trey Mancini had to wait another day to officially complete his inspiring comeback from colon cancer after the Orioles’ 2021 season opener in Boston was postponed due to the threat of rain on Thursday.

Opening Day at Fenway Park was rescheduled to 2:10 p.m. Friday with Baltimore left-hander John Means still scheduled to make the start against Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi. The postponement didn’t stop the Orioles from announcing their initial 26-man roster Thursday morning with the newest development being reliever Shawn Armstrong’s placement on the paternity list. As expected, outfielder DJ Stewart was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain sustained in early March while right-handed reliever Travis Lakins was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

With baseball back to playing a full 162-game season after 2020’s pandemic-shortened 60-game slate, teams are more concerned than ever about having enough pitching depth with the rebuilding Orioles being no exception. Manager Brandon Hyde will have a 14-man pitching staff and nine-man bullpen to open 2021 with two of those relievers being Rule 5 picks Tyler Wells and Mac Sceroler. It remains to be seen how far general manager Mike Elias is willing to go to keep them in the organization with neither having pitched above the Double-A level prior to 2021, but the organization liked what it saw from the right-handers this spring.

In addition to Wells and Sceroler, six other Orioles are on their first career Opening Day roster, a list that includes starting pitchers Dean Kremer and Bruce Zimmermann, relievers Cesar Valdez and Dillon Tate, outfielder Ryan Mountcastle, and infielder Ramon Urias. Valdez, who posted a 1.26 ERA and three saves in 14 1/3 innings for Baltimore last season, is the best story of the bunch after making his major league debut 11 years ago and celebrating his 36th birthday just a couple weeks ago. Zimmermann, an Ellicott City native and Loyola Blakefield graduate, is scheduled to start the third game of the season after a strong showing in Sarasota.

Right-handed relief pitcher Hunter Harvey (left oblique strain) and first baseman Chris Davis (lower back strain) are on the 60-day IL to begin the season.

Below is the full Opening Day roster:

CATCHERS (2)
Pedro Severino
Chance Sisco

INFIELDERS (6)
Maikel Franco
Freddy Galvis
Trey Mancini
Rio Ruiz
Ramon Urias
Pat Valaika

OUTFIELDERS (4)
Austin Hays
Ryan Mountcastle
Cedric Mullins
Anthony Santander

STARTING PITCHERS (5)
LH John Means
RH Matt Harvey
LH Bruce Zimmermann
RH Jorge Lopez
RH Dean Kremer

RELIEF PITCHERS (9)
LH Paul Fry
LH Wade LeBlanc
RH Adam Plutko
RH Mac Sceroler
LH Tanner Scott
RH Cole Sulser
RH Dillon Tate
RH Cesar Valdez
RH Tyler Wells