Since the Orioles 25 man roster is, for the most part, set, this is typically when people start predicting the lineup for the season. When you have a manager like Buck Showalter, such is not the case. Buck loves to have options (which he definitely has with this team), and he has shown in his career that he will change the lineup whenever he sees fit (which has been quite often at times). First off, let’s predict the 25 man roster, by position (I will not include pitchers at this point, that is still up in the air):
Jake Fox (who will also serve as our all purpose utility man)
Jake Fox will also spend time here. Luke Scott might see a few days here too.
Brendan Harris/Robert Andino/Cesar Izturis. Orioles will probably carry one of the three. Theoretically, they could carry two. My guess is Andino or Harris because the Orioles need a backup for Roberts.
Jake Fox and Robert Andino might see time here too.
Felix Pie and Reimold will compete for the fourth OF spot. Theoretically, the Orioles could easily carry both thanks to Fox’s versatility. Vlad will not be allowed within 100 yards of a baseball glove.
Felix Pie will serve as Adam’s backup. There’s also Matt Angle, but he is a huge longshot to make the team, even if Reimold or Pie get traded.
Luke, Lee, Fox, and others will find time here too. Don’t be shocked if Roberts DHs a few days too.
Now that we have that out of the way, I think this will be the primary lineup (the lineup that Orioles fans will see most often this year barring injuries):
I don’t see a hole in that lineup anywhere. Everybody in this lineup is at the very least an above average hitter for their position. Jones and Lee could easily be switched, but Jones seems to be more comfortable batting in the middle of the order. I think he’ll do a terrific job batting seventh.
Here’s what Buck will trot out on Sundays, when he typically gives certain players a day of rest:
This is why I think it would make a great deal of sense for the Orioles to carry two of Harris/Andino/Izturis. Both Hardy and Roberts are injury prone, and therefore, should be rested at least once per week.
Now, Vlad’s going to need a rest once in a while. He’s an old man now. Buck probably won’t kill our lineup by giving him off the same day as everyone else, so this is what I think the Orioles lineup will look like once a week:
That lineup would allow the Orioles to give Luke an extra day of rest from the field and rest Vlad without sacrificing too much offense.
Barring injuries or other unforeseen circumstances, those should be the lineups Orioles fans should see over the course of the season.