Who are the 26 players the Orioles could carry on a playoff roster?
2. The position players
13. Adley Rutschman, C
Barring a horrific collapse from the Orioles, Adley Rutschman will make his playoff debut with the Orioles this October, likely in front of a raucous Camden Yards crowd. What a moment that will be, with the Orioles' franchise cornerstone taking the field in the postseason after brutal futility from the Orioles from 2018-2021.
14. James McCann, C
Even in the playoffs, Adley Rustchman needs a backup, and that's where James McCann comes in. The veteran catcher has been solid this year, posting 0.6 WAR and a .661 OPS. Just fine for a backup, and he's the best they have in that department.
15. Ryan Mountcastle, IF
As he has done for the last month, Mountcastle will likely remain in a platoon with Ryan O'Hearn at first base, with the other DHing. It is also possible that Hyde starts O'Hearn in the outfield more often, with Anthony Santander getting more starts at DH.
16. Ryan O'Hearn, IF/OF
What an incredible revelation Ryan O'Hearn has been for the 2023 Orioles. His .300 batting average and .830 OPS lead the team, and he has been worth a career high 1.1 WAR. Nevertheless, he will likely sit against tough lefties in the playoffs (i.e Framber Valdez, Jordan Montgomery, etc.) and serve in a platoon role.
17. Ramon Urias, IF
Although not as productive as he was in 2022, Urias has enjoyed a relatively solid season, rotating between second and third base for the Orioles. Along with his usual gold glove defense, Urias has put up a .707 OPS and 1.7 WAR (driven mostly by his gold glove defense). He figures to start against lefties in the playoffs and may get the bulk of starts at third if Brandon Hyde chooses not to play Jordan Westburg.
18. Adam Frazier, IF
Adam Frazier will likely get the bulk of the starts at second base against right-handed starters, as he has this season. Frazier has posted an acceptable .706 OPS, with 13 home runs, 54 RBIs, and 1.5 WAR on the year. He appeared in the playoffs with Seattle last year, and along with Gibson and Aaron Hicks, represents one of few players on this roster with playoff experience.
19. Gunnar Henderson, IF
The frontrunner for American League Rookie of the Year and arguably the Orioles best player, Henderson will likely start every playoff game for the Orioles and hit out of the number 2 spot. His 4.7 WAR leads all Orioles, and, like Rutschman, it will be a surreal moment watching Henderson take the field in what should be the first of many playoff games as an Oriole.
20. Jordan Westburg, IF
Barring something unforeseen, Westburg will also get to make his playoff debut this October with the Orioles. Although not as heralded as other recent draft picks Rutschman and Henderson, Westburg ranked as one of the Orioles' top prospects before "graduating" this year due to his number of at bats with the O's (interestingly, Colton Cowser remains on the list, ranking second).
The 25 year-old Westburg has had a decent first season, batting .264 with 2 home runs and 19 RBIs to go along with a .713 OPS. He will likely draw starts at second or third (depending on where Urias is) against lefty starters in the playoffs.
21. Jorge Mateo, IF
Despite some exciting plays of late, including an inside the park home run in Oakland, Mateo has fallen to "forgotten man" status of late. While he should make the postseason roster and could draw a start or two at shortstop (when Henderson plays third), Mateo will likely be counted on as a pinch runner and perhaps late-game defensive replacement. Perhaps the playoffs can be Mateo's salvation to keep him around for 2024. Or perhaps not.