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Buck Showalter sees strength in Orioles' numbers

Orioles manager Buck Showalter will have a lot of issues to deal with over the course of spring training – which officially begins today – but he doesn’t seem the least bit worried about his starting rotation, even though he concedes that there are a few things he might have to worry about.

“We’re probably at 9, 10, 11 guys that we’re looking at,’’ he said Tuesday. “You’ve got to say ‘What if?’ If [Jason Hammel] has a knee issue or Miguel [Gonzalez] has some issue or [Wei-Yin] Chen or something, we’ll be able to move in a lot of different directions.

“I like our depth. I like that we have people in a good position. Steve Johnson, I don’t want anybody to forget about him. He did some good things for us last year, and I know I’m going to forget some people – [Jake] Arrietta and [Zach] Britton. It’s going to be intriguing to see how it plays out, but we’re also keeping that maneuverability.”

This is the time of year when everybody supposedly has a chance, but most teams have a pretty good idea who’s going to be in the most important roles. That’s the case here, with all but a couple starting position players locked in barring injury and several pitching slots filled, but Showalter said that everyone who isn’t limited by design (Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman) will get a fair chance to make the team.

“We’re not going to penalize people," he said. “We’re not going to penalize a guy and send him to Triple-A because he’s got an option. If he has that type of year, we’ll figure it out. I think our guys understand that we’re going to take the best 25.”

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