Jordan Westburg in Orioles Opening Day lineup (just not where you think)

Brandon Hyde tweaked the lineup just little bit.

Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jordan Westburg
Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jordan Westburg / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

It's Opening Day, O's fans. Your Baltimore Orioles are looking to defend their American League East crown in 2024. After surprising a lot of the experts and pundits in 2023, the Orioles won't be sneaking up on anybody this season. In fact, after adding former Cy Young Award-winner Corbin Burnes, the Orioles are picked by many to win the AL pennant this season.

But the 162-game season lasts until the fall, and a lot can happen. So let's just focus on the first game of the season, shall we? The Orioles Opening Day starter is, of course, the aforementioned Burnes. The O's swung a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers this offseason in order to bring the ace to Charm City.

But a controversial decision on the part of the Orioles front office left Jackson Holliday off the roster. The top prospect in baseball did everything he could in order to make the cut, but will instead begin the year at Triple-A Norfolk.

Jordan Westburg in Orioles Opening Day lineup (just not where you think)

But the Orioles will have Jordan Westburg at second base, right? Well, not today. Nope, Westburg will act as the O's designated hitter today while Jorge Mateo will be starting at second base for Baltimore. Known more for his speed, it appears that Orioles manager Brandon Hyde is rewarding Mateo for his strong spring. Mateo posted a .550 slugging percentage during Grapefruit League play.

The rest of the Orioles lineup looks about how one might expect. Gunnar Henderson will lead things off and play shortstop. Adley Rutschman will be hanging the signs for Burnes today and bat second. Ryan Mountcastle is batting third with Anthony Santander batting cleanup and playing right field.

Austin Hays will be in left field and bat fifth, with Westburg batting sixth. Cedric Mullins is in his usual spot in center field. He'll be followed by Ramón Urias with Mateo rounding out the Orioles Opening Day starting lineup.

Recently signed infielder Tony Kemp is expected to be on the bench for Hyde today, as well as Colton Cowser, Ryan O'Hearn, and James McCann. This Orioles lineup is loaded. Enjoy Opening Day, O's fans.

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