It’s almost the New Year, which means it’s time to project the 2019 Baltimore Orioles starting lineup
Yes, Mike Elias is likely going to adjust the roster before Spring Training starts, but it doesn’t hurt to project the 2019 lineup right now. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Baltimore Orioles centerfielder Cedric Mullins will be the leadoff man starting in 2019. He brings speed and some pop that you need to start off a game.
Batting second will be the second baseman, Jonathan Villar. He was great after the Orioles acquired him from Milwaukee at the trade deadline in 2018. Most fans are looking forward to seeing what Villar can do with a full season in Baltimore.
Batting third will be left fielder Trey Mancini. He struggled in the first half of 2018, but made adjustments after the All-Star Break and finished the season strong.
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If healthy, Mark Trumbo would be batting cleanup behind Mancini, and rotating defensively between designated hitter and right field. Trumbo’s September surgery came with a six-month recovery timetable, meaning there’s a chance he’s ready to go by spring training.
Batting after Trumbo would be the first baseman, Chris Davis. Under Elias and Brandon Hyde, Davis can ideally fix some of the issues that have plagued him in the past, and he can become at least an average hitter next year.
The rest of the lineup is a toss up, as we don’t yet know who will make the team out of Spring Training. If I were a betting man, I’d have either Austin Wynns or Chance Sisco batting after Chris Davis.
Renato Nunez will be the third baseman for the Orioles to start the 2019 season, but I expect Drew Jackson to take the reigns at some point. Batting eighth is Joey Rickard, unless Mike Elias signs a veteran right-fielder between now and Spring Training.
Last, but not least is Rule 5 Draft Pick, shortstop Richie Martin. He’ll be batting near the bottom of the order because he still needs time to develop.
The full lineup looks like this:
CF- Cedric Mullins; 2B- Jonathan Villar; LF- Trey Mancini; DH- Mark Trumbo; 1B- Chris Davis; C- Austin Wynns/Chance Sisco; 3B- Renato Nunez; RF- Joey Rickard; SS- Richie Martin
Would your batting order be different? Who would you have starting instead of Rickard or Nunez?