Orioles demote reliever, delay all their most difficult roster decisions

Baltimore is taking their sweet time in making their sweet time in deciding on their roster.
Baltimore Orioles v Oakland Athletics
Baltimore Orioles v Oakland Athletics / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Normally at this point of spring training, teams have made sweeping rounds of roster cuts and their Opening Day roster choices have become pretty clear, even if the news hasn't been made official. For the Baltimore Orioles, however, it looks like their biggest roster decisions are apparently going down to the wire.

On Wednesday, Baltimore did make spring training cut, but it was only to send reliever Nick Vespi back to minor-league camp. That means the Orioles still have a whopping 45 players in big league camp with just a few days left in spring training, as of Thursday around lunch time. That means a LOT is going to change very, very soon.

Baltimore's Opening Day roster battles are going down to the wire

There are a number of factors in play here. First, the guys that are on the 40-man roster that are also in camp have minor-league options that are in play, so the Orioles are going to want to be deliberate with who they are keeping around and who they are going to send back to the minor leagues.

Another issue is that the Orioles have some really close battles for Opening Day roster spots. Jackson Holliday has done everything he can to force his way in, but Baltimore still won't make his inclusion official. The competition in the outfield is even murkier, as Colton Cowser and Kyle Stowers are still hitting the cover off the ball, and both Ryan McKenna and Heston Kjerstad are hanging around as well.

On the pitching side, Keegan Akin has shaken up the bullpen battle with his strong spring, and some of his chief competition has already been sent off the roster. Cole Irvin still seems like he's the favorite for the rotation, although Julio Teheran remains an option as well, especially since Irvin has not had the best spring.

The Orioles kicked the can down the road on all of those decisions until the very end of spring training here. However, they won't be able to for much longer, and we should finally get some roster clarity, even if it happens at the buzzer.

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