Looking at the Orioles’ non-roster invitees in Sarasota

February 14, 2014 | Luke Jones


Caleb Joseph
Opening Day age: 27
Musing: Joseph hit 22 home runs and posted an .840 OPS at Bowie last season, but it was his fourth consecutive year at the Double-A level and his defense has always been the biggest part of his game holding him back despite improvement in recent years.

Brian Ward
Opening Day age: 28
Musing: Strong defensively but suspended 50 games in 2012 for violating the minor league drug prevention and treatment program for a second time, Ward is trying to put himself back on the major league radar after hitting .260 and posting a .702 OPS in 181 plate appearances for Bowie last year.


UTI Alexi Casilla
Opening Day age: 29
Musing: Though never given an extended chance to handle second base last season when Brian Roberts was hurt and Ryan Flaherty was struggling at the plate, Casilla brings a solid glove and speed off the bench, factors that will give him a reasonable chance to make the 25-man roster despite a poor .563 OPS in 125 plate appearances with Baltimore in 2013.

UTI Ivan De Jesus, Jr.
Opening Day age: 26
Musing: The utility infielder spent the 2013 season at the Triple-A level in the Pittsburgh organization after 80 major league plate appearances split between the Dodgers and the Red Sox in 2011 and 2012 and has the infield versatility to compete for a bench spot with a very strong spring performance.

SS Alex Gonzalez
Opening Day age: 37
Musing: The 15-year major league veteran is a career .246 hitter and appeared in only 41 games for the Milwaukee Brewers last season while hitting .177, making this signing feel more about having another veteran infielder in camp to mentor younger players than a viable option to make the roster.

1B Chris Marrero
Opening Day age: 25
Musing: A first-round pick of the Washington Nationals in 2006, Marrero has dealt with injuries and inconsistent play while recording 133 major league plate appearances — hitting .232 with a .528 OPS — and would seem to be a realistic option to make Triple-A Norfolk’s roster to start the season.

2B Cord Phelps
Opening Day age: 27
Musing: Appearing in 53 games over the last three seasons with the Cleveland Indians, the 2008 third-round selection has a .159 career average in 123 plate appearances and played multiple positions in the minor leagues, which will keep him in the mix for a utility spot on the 25-man roster.


LF Quintin Berry
Opening Day age: 29
Musing: A high school teammate of Adam Jones, Berry was on the World Series roster for the Red Sox last season and is a career .268 hitter in 339 plate appearances with Boston and the Detroit Tigers over the last two years, but he will now be joining his eighth organization in nine professional seasons.

CF Julio Borbon
Opening Day age: 28
Musing: Rumored to be interested in Borbon early last season, the Orioles like his speed and he could be in the mix as an extra outfielder, but he hit only .202 in 117 plate appearances with the Chicago Cubs last season after being claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers.

LF/RF Xavier Paul
Opening Day age: 29
Musing: A career .254 hitter in five major league seasons spent with three different clubs, Paul is a career .268 hitter against right-handed pitching and has good speed but hits .145 against lefties and hasn’t shown much power in his major league opportunities.

DH Delmon Young
Opening Day age: 28
Musing: The likeliest of any non-roster invitee to make the 25-man roster out of spring training, Young is in line to replace the departed Danny Valencia as the primary designated hitter against left-handed pitching and has a track record of some major league success despite some off-field baggage and never realizing his full potential as a former No. 1 overall draft pick.