Lineup speculation, pitching decisions and more – School of Roch

The first lineup of 2021 spring training will be posted later this morning, with Trey Mancini the only confirmed player in it. Manager Brandon Hyde said that Mancini will be the first baseman.

The rest can be speculated.

The Orioles are home, which usually puts more “starters” on the field. They had Hanser Alberto leading off and playing second base last year in the first game at Ed Smith Stadium. Mancini was in right field, Chris Davis at first base, Pedro Severino behind the plate, Dwight Smith Jr. in left field, José Iglesias at shortstop and Rio Ruiz at third base.

Don’t read too much into a Feb. 28 lineup, but it will be interesting to see whether Austin Hays or Cedric Mullins is the center fielder. Hyde could introduce his new double play combination of Freddy Galvis and Yolmer Sánchez.

Davis is supposed to get plenty of at-bats. Do they begin today as the designated hitter?

The Pirates are starting right-hander Chad Kuhl, a ninth-round pick in 2013 out of the University of Delaware who made 11 appearances last season and posted a 4.27 ERA and a 1.360 WHIP in 46 1/3 innings. He averaged 5.4 walks per nine innings.

Kuhl missed the 2019 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Hyde has chosen Thomas Eshelman as his starter. A tougher call is whether to carry 13 or 14 pitchers on opening day.

“I think we’re going to wait until…

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Roch Kubatko

Roch Kubatko

MASN Sports

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Reporting on the Orioles on and MASN. An MLB Network and Baseball America correspondent. We don’t give detention at the School of Roch