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4. Who are the newcomers who could make the club out of spring training?
McFarland might be the safest bet, given his contract situation, but he's not the only guy that has a legitimate chance to make his Orioles debut in April. First baseman Travis Ishikawa (above) signed a minor-league deal, but has a solid shot of making the club. A 29-year-old lefty, he is an excellent defender and will be insurance in case Davis struggles at first base. The knock on Ishikawa is that he's never exhibited enough power for a first baseman, but he'd be on this team for his glove. There likely will be a battle between corner infielders Russ Canzler and Danny Valencia for a bench spot. Both have minor league options remaining and both are righties who can hit left-handers. That should earn one an opportunity to platoon with Wilson Betemit at designated hitter. Also, keep your eye on veteran outfielder Chris Dickerson, who also signed a minor-league deal but is probably the favorite if the Orioles take another reserve outfielder besides Reimold. Dickerson can play all three outfield positions well, and his experience gives him the edge over youngsters like Xavier Avery and L.J. Hoes.
May 8, 2012