Baltimore Orioles: Gentry, Mancini, Asher, et al

The Baltimore Orioles made a trade yesterday with Philadelphia, acquiring minor league pitcher Alec Asher in return for a PTBNL or cash. Asher has a career record of 32-33 in the minor leagues, with a 3.39 ERA. He also made five starts for Philadelphia last year at the big league level, going 2-1 with an ERA of 2.28.

Asher comes with two minor league options. This is a move that adds some pitching depth to the organization, and the Orioles are thinking that Asher’s a guy who could help them out in the big league’s this year. And that’s a great thing about being traded to the Orioles; they use the entire 40-man roster unlike any other team in the majors. If you get traded here, there’s a good chance you’re going to have an opportunity to play in “the show.”

The Orioles also have some big decisions looming in terms of the Opening Day roster regarding several players. We know that Mike Wright won’t be there, as he was optioned to Norfolk before yesterday’s 5-4 win over Atlanta. However while nobody will make a commitment to this, it appears that Wade Miley will begin the season in the rotation after yesterday’s outing. Miley’s line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

Again, nothing’s set in stone as of yet. However Miley looked pretty good yesterday in what shapes up as his penultimate spring outing. But with that said the only thing we know thus far is that Tillman will start the season on the DL, and that Gausman and Bundy are in the rotation. Anything else is technically still up in the air.

One guy who’s had a great camp has been Craig Gentry. He got some extended playing time due to the WBC, and he really took advantage of it. In my mind the Orioles have to find a way to bring Gentry north with them – if they’re going to bring the best 25 guys to Baltimore, that is. Gentry earned a spot on this team; hopefully he gets it.

Trey Mancini is another guy to watch. Similar to Gentry, he’s earned a spot on the roster. However you have to hope that the fact that he has options and is still young doesn’t work against him. The Orioles are very happy with the progress he’s made in terms of converting to the outfield in camp, and again in my mind he’s earned a spot on the roster.

The urgency of some of these decisions may be waned in the immediate future if the O’s decide to play a “roster game” or two. And quite frankly I would recommend that. As I’ve said several times previously, they don’t need a fifth starter until mid-April. In fact, they have three off days in the first seven days of the season. Could they even come north with just three starters?

Point being that a Mancini or a Gentry could start the season with the Orioles in the absence of the necessity of a full rotation. Obviously that means that they might get sent down at some point, and that’s certainly a shame. But there are worse places to be than on a big league roster on Opening Day.

The Orioles will play their final road game of the Grapefruit League season this afternoon in Port Charlotte against Tampa. Opening Day starter Kevin Gausman will get the nod on the bump today, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Erasmo Ramirez. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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