The regular season is coming to a close and the Baltimore Orioles are headed to the playoffs. While the seedings are not yet set, the O's have already clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2016. Furthermore, the Orioles have locked in home field advantage in the first playoff series they play in, as they will either finish the regular season as the number one overall seed and receive a coveted first round bye, or they will be the top wild card seed and have a home series.
The Birds currently sit in first place in the American League East, 2.5 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays. Both teams are off on Monday so Orioles fans can finally take a day to relax after an insane 17 straight days with games this late in the season.
I know my blood pressure could use a day to go back down. The O's magic number to clinch the division is three with only six games left. Three more wins would also bring the Orioles to the 100 win mark for the first time since 1980, and just the sixth time in franchise history.
With the playoffs in mind, the Orioles need to cut the roster back down to 26 players after they were able to expand to 28 players in September. While every member of this O's team has made large contributions, a few will have to stay home as the Orioles make a run at their first World Series in 40 years.
3 Orioles players who have no business being on the 2023 postseason roster
Heston Kjerstad has been the feel good story of the year for the Baltimore Orioles. He got an early start to the year when he played in the Arizona Fall League, and when I say played, I mean dominated. After being named the AFL's MVP, Kjerstad started the season in Double-A and continued his stellar performance. After playing in the MiLB all-star game, Kjerstad got promoted to Norfolk, where he barely slowed down. Kjerstad got the inevitable call to Baltimore and made his major league debut on September 14.
While he has held his own offensively in his first taste of the majors, he should not be on the postseason roster. The Orioles are full of talent in the outfield and clearly prefer many players defensively over Kjerstad, He has appeared in nine games for the Orioles this month and only played 0.2 innings defensively.
Not to mention that he was not on the 40-man roster before September so he would need to be an injury replacement to even be eligible for the post season. Orioles fans and Kjerstad should be thrilled with the success that he has had this year and excited to potentially make the opening day roster in 2024.