Baltimore Orioles 2024 opening day roster projection 2.0

How does the brutal news of Kyle Bradish's UCL sprain affect the Orioles heading into Opening Day?

Baltimore Orioles Photo Day
Baltimore Orioles Photo Day / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
2 of 3

Infielders: Ryan Mountcastle, Ryan O'Hearn, Jordan Westburg, Gunnar Henderson, Jackson Holliday, Ramon Urias, Jorge Mateo (7)

Ryan Mountcastle, Mitch Garver
Division Series - Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles - Game Two / Greg Fiume/GettyImages

Just one small change here, with Ramon Urias sticking around as a backup infielder for now instead of getting traded at the end of Spring Training as Version 1.0 predicted. At the end of the day, Urias is still superfluous with all the infielders around, and I think he will eventually be traded. But with Jorge Mateo working out in the outfield and preparing for a super-utility role, the Orioles could choose to Keep Urias around a bit longer to back up second and third base.

Outfielders: Austin Hays, Cedric Mullins, Anthony Santander, Heston Kjerstad (4)

Heston Kjerstad
Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles / G Fiume/GettyImages

Ramon Urias takes the place of Ryan McKenna who, despite being a popular player, ultimately loses his role with Mateo playing more outfield. I still have Kjerstad as the "last" guy off the bench for this team, under the hope that he starts 3-4 times a week at DH or in the outfield.

I recognize how similar he is to Ryan O'Hearn in a handful of ways: left-handed power and the ability to play first, outfield, and DH. If Ryan Mountcastle struggles against righties - which has often been the case - the Orioles could easily fit O'Hearn and Kjerstad into the lineup against right-handers regularly.

I realize the risk in not carrying McKenna, or another outfielder such as Sam Hilliard, due to past durability issues with Mullins, Hays, and Santander. But with the Orioles not wanting to lose Urias or Mateo as part of the roster crunch, I see them running these 13 players down the orange carpet on Opening Day against Los Angeles.