Diving into the depths: Baltimore Orioles

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Baltimore Orioles
Rotation
1. Kevin Millwood
2. Jeremy Guthrie
3. Brad Bergesen
4. Brian Matusz
5. Chris Tillman
6. David Hernandez
7. Jason Berken
8. Mark Hendrickson
9. Jake Arrieta
10. Troy Patton
11. Alfredo Simon
12. Brandon Erbe
13. Zach Britton
Barring the addition of Braden Looper or another inning eater, the 22-year-old Matusz and 21-year-old Tillman will head into spring training as clear favorites for rotation spots. Tillman, though, is the more vulnerable of the two. He’s not as polished as Matusz, and he’s not as good of a bet for this year.
Bullpen
1. Mike Gonzalez
2. Jim Johnson
3. Koji Uehara
4. Mark Hendrickson
5. Matt Albers
6. Cla Meredith
7. Kam Mickolio
8. Alberto Castillo
9. David Hernandez
10. Dennis Sarfate
11. Alfredo Simon
12. Armando Gabino
13. Ross Wolf
14. Mike Hinckley
15. Chris George
16. Wilfido Perez
17. Luis Lebron
Sarfate is currently on waivers. He’ll be back to battle for a bullpen spot if he clears.
I like Uehara in the bullpen and think he’ll be a valuable setup man. Everyone after him is a significant question mark, but Mickolio could step up and become a big contributor over the course of the year.


Catcher
1. Matt Wieters
2. Chad Moeller
3. Craig Tatum
4. Michel Hernandez
First base
1. Garrett Atkins
2. Ty Wigginton
3. Michael Aubrey
4. Rhyne Hughes
5. Brandon Snyder
6. Scott Moore
Second base
1. Brian Roberts
2. Justin Turner
3. Robert Andino
4. Scott Moore
Third base
1. Miguel Tejada
2. Ty Wigginton
3. Garrett Atkins
4. Justin Turner
5. Josh Bell
Shortstop
1. Cesar Izturis
2. Robert Andino
3. Pedro Florimon Jr.
The Orioles should have bypassed Atkins if they didn’t want him to play third base, but maybe he’ll be OK. If not, Snyder could take over during the second half of the season. Likewise, Bell could be ready at third come August.
Left field
1. Nolan Reimold
2. Felix Pie
3. Luke Scott
4. Luis Montanez
5. Jeff Salazar
Center field
1. Adam Jones
2. Felix Pie
3. Jeff Salazar
4. Matt Angle
5. Lou Montanez
Right field
1. Nick Markakis
2. Felix Pie
3. Lou Montanez
4. Jeff Salazar
Designated hitter
1. Luke Scott
2. Ty Wigginton
3. Michael Aubrey
4. Rhyne Hughes
The outfield is awfully nice, especially with Pie back as a fourth outfielder. There was talk that he could be traded for pitching help. The bench should be made up of Pie, Wigginton, Andino and Moeller.

Aledmys Diaz is trying to improve his defense with strobe glasses

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.

Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.

The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.

Eduardo Rodriguez could rejoin the Red Sox rotation in July

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Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.

The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.

He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.