Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Who Will Be the First Player To Make Their Orioles Debut in 2012?

One thing that we all know is that some players will make their Orioles debut during the 2012 season, but what he don't know is who will be the first. My assumption, which generally has been proven true in past seasons, is that multiple players will make their Orioles debut on Opening Day. And if multiple players debut in the same half inning, I use the position numbering system (pitcher- 1 through right fielder-9) to break any ties.

I don't believe that the Opening Day starter will be Wei-Yin Chen, Dana Eveland, Jason Hammel, or Tsuyoshi Wada, although Chen and Hammel are remote possibilities.

I'm confident that Matt Wieters will be behind the plate on Opening Day, but, God forbid, he tweaks something in Spring Training, Taylor Teagarden is the most likely guy to fill-in as the backstop.

Looking around the infield, Wilson Betemit is a lock to get regular playing time, but his position is up in the air; he could play first or third, DH, or pop up somewhere else on the field. He's definitely on the O.D. roster though.

Nick Johnson is a wild card, but will likely make the team if healthy. Ryan Flaherty and Matt Antonelli seem to be in direct competition with one another for the utility infield spot, with Flaherty having the edge since he's a Rule 5 guy that would have to be returned to the Cubs if he drops off the 25 man roster. Even if either of them make the team, it seems unlikely they would start on Opening Day. 

My money is on Endy Chavez to be the fourth outfielder, and I think that's a safe bet, but again, it's unlikely he would start the first game of the year. Jai Miller and Steve Tolleson are in the discussion too, but likely only can make the team if someone gets hurt.

If no position players make their debut on Opening Day, which is a possibility, then a relief pitcher very well could be the first O's debut of the season. I have no idea how Buck will use the guys out of the 'pen this year but I know that Luis Ayala and Matt Lindstrom are both near locks to make the team. Darren O'Day, Pat Neshek, and Armando Galarraga are also posibilities to break camp with the Birds.


 My guess is that Wilson Betemit is the first new player to debut for the Orioles at Camden Yards on April 6. Think I'm wrong? Who do you think will become Oriole #911?


topher (Crackin Wax/Varsity Trading Cards) said...

I'm pulling for Neshek. He's a great guy, great card collector, and a great pitcher that deserves another look in the majors.

On a side note, it's weird how many former Twins are in O's camp this year. Neshek, Tolleson, Eyre, Ayala and Hardy just off the top of my head.

Jim from Downingtown said...

Hopefully, Joe Blanton!

Ryan H said...

I have a sick feeling in my stomach that it might be Jai Miller. I really hope Markakis starts on opening day to keep that from happening

Orioles Magic said...

Topher- Good call. I know the O's have a bunch of former Rangers too.

And Neshek would really be a great guy to have on the team. Not too many self-professed card collectors playing in the majors!

Jim- Who knows, I didn't account for trades since the possibilities are endless, but that's certainly an option too.

Ryan-It's possible, and at least Miller has looked good so far. He's no Markakis though!