It’s snowing in Baltimore, which means its the perfect time to dream of warmer weather and the baseball season.

Pitchers and catchers report in about a month to Sarasota, Florida, for spring training, with position players following shortly after. That means nights at Camden Yards will be here before you know it.

Here’s a way-too-early look at who might be there on Opening Day, assuming no other moves are made before the team starts camp:

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Catchers (2)

This one is easy. Adley Rutschman and James McCann will form the Orioles duo once again.

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Other options: Rutschman and McCann are the only two catchers on the Orioles’ 40-man roster. But 19-year-old Samuel Basallo is quickly rising through the ranks and could be ready for 2025. He ended last season in Double-A.

Baltimore Orioles shortstop Jorge Mateo (3) fields a ground ball in a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Camden Yards on Wednesday, May 10. The Orioles beat the Rays, 2-1, to win the three-game series. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

Infielders (6)

Ryan Mountcastle, Ryan O’Hearn, Jordan Westburg, Gunnar Henderson, Jorge Mateo, Coby Mayo

Other options: Jackson Holliday, Ramón Urías, Joey Ortiz

Will Holliday be on the major league team at some point this season? Yes. Will it be before the All-Star break? Probably. But Opening Day may be pushing it a little. He’s going into spring training with a chance to make the team, but he has only 18 Triple-A games under his belt, where he hit .267. He may need a few more games in Norfolk before he’s major-league ready. The Orioles are only going to bring him up when he’s ready to be an everyday player.

In this scenario, the Orioles will have Westburg at second and Henderson at shortstop, with Mateo as the back-up. They need a third baseman then, so enter Coby Mayo. He brings the pop and power from the right side of the plate. Mayo, their No. 4 prospect, hit 29 home runs last year across Double-A and Triple-A. He’s not on their 40-man roster, so they would need to clear a spot for him.

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Baltimore Orioles outfielders Cedric Mullins, Austin Hays and Anthony Santander pose for a photo together during the team’s celebration in the clubhouse following their playoff-clinching win against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023. The Orioles earned a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2016. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

Outfielders (5)

Cedric Mullins, Austin Hays, Anthony Santander, Heston Kjerstad, Sam Hilliard

Other options: Colton Cowser, Ryan McKenna, Kyle Stowers

Mullins, Hays and Santander are standard. Kjerstad will be needed for his power, but as of the end of last season, wasn’t yet trusted in the field. Enter Hilliard, who was picked up from the Braves. Kjerstad can serve as a designated hitter and, in a pinch, a corner outfielder. Hilliard or McKenna can be the defensive replacement.

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Grayson Rodriguez (30), left, and pitcher Kyle Bradish (39) flick sunflower seeds at pitcher Kyle Gibson (48) from the dugout between innings during a baseball game against the Houston Astros at Orioles Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore on Aug. 9, 2023. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

Starters (5)

Kyle Bradish, Grayson Rodriguez, Dean Kremer, John Means, Cole Irvin

Bradish, Rodriguez, Kremer and Means are locks. The fifth spot, though, is where things get dicey. Tyler Wells and DL Hall have both expressed interest in starting after ending last season in the bullpen, but they might be better served staying in reliever roles. Irvin, who had a 4.42 ERA in 77 major league innings last year, is their next best option if a move isn’t made before Opening Day.

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Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Yennier Cano (78) pitches during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies at Camden Yards on Saturday, Aug. 26. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

Relievers (8)

Yennier Cano, Cionel Perez, Tyler Wells, DL Hall, Jacob Webb, Danny Coulombe, Craig Kimbrel, Dillon Tate

Other options: Keegan Akin, Bryan Baker, Nick Vespi, Bruce Zimmerman, Mike Baumann

The Orioles signed Kimbrel to a $12 million deal for 2024 to be their new closer. Cano, Wells, Coulombe and Hall will fall into line behind him, with Perez, Webb and Tate also filling innings. Akin, Baker, Vespi, Zimmerman and Baumann will all likely make appearances this season. The last spot in the bullpen is usually a rotation of arms, one guy swapped out for another to ensure the team has a fresh option.

Danielle Allentuck covers the Orioles for The Baltimore Banner. She previously reported on the Rockies for the Denver Gazette and general sports assignments for The New York Times as part of its fellowship program. A Maryland native, Danielle grew up in Montgomery County and graduated from Ithaca College. 

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