Gunnar Henderson to finally make his spring training debut after injury scare

It is official. Gunnar Henderson is back and playing in his first spring training game in 2024.

Division Series - Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles - Game Two
Division Series - Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles - Game Two / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

One of the biggest reasons why the Baltimore Orioles were able to win 101 games last year and claim the AL East title was the play of Gunnar Henderson. Henderson was certainly highly thought of as a prospect coming into the 2023 season, but he still managed to exceed expectations, notching 28 homers and 6.2 rWAR while running away with the AL Rookie of the Year award.

Unfortunately, 2024 hasn't gotten off to the best start for Henderson. Before the start of camp, Henderson suffered an injury to his oblique, and while Baltimore has been optimistic throughout his recovery regarding his Opening Day availability, oblique injuries can be tricky to recover from. Orioles fans have been anxious to see him take the field ever since.

Luckily, those worries appear to have been unfounded, as Henderson himself revealed that he will be making his spring training debut on Monday.

Orioles Lineup: Gunnar Henderson to finally make his spring training debut

This is obviously fantastic news for the Orioles. While Baltimore is one of the few teams in the league that has the position player depth to absorb the loss of a guy like Henderson in the short-term, his production would have been sorely missed and his absence may have forced the team to make roster decisions that could have been detrimental in the long-term if they needed to slot in a prospect earlier than planned.

Today's spring training lineup has Henderson slotted in at shortstop and batting third, which should make Orioles fans quite happy. Henderson also revealed that the team will likely primarily play him at shortstop this year, although he also going to stay ready to play third base if needed. Given all of the position player talent that Baltimore has coming up, it is nice to get some clarity regarding both Henderson's health, as well as how the Orioles plan to use him in 2024.

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