Carlos Osorio/Associated Press
Nick Markakis, RF
Manny Machado, 3B
Adam Jones, CF
Chris Davis, 1B
Nelson Cruz, DH
J.J. Hardy, SS
Matt Wieters, C
David Lough, LF
Jonathan Schoop, 2B
In terms of who Showalter pencils into the lineup on an everyday basis, I believe his lineup card will look something like this.
Markakis appears to be the best option at leadoff, and while he doesn't have blazing speed, he has a great batting eye and good on-base skills. Behind him, Machado and his doubles are expected to be in the 2-hole whenever he returns to action, which we'll revisit in a minute.
Newcomer Cruz is slotted fifth to provide serious protection for the O's two top threats—Jones and Davis. Hardy bats sixth and Wieters seventh, providing serious pop heading into the bottom third of the order.
Lough serves as a solid bat near the bottom of the order, with good speed and decent average and on-base skills. Schoop will bat ninth and play second base as he's doing everything he can to force the hand of Showalter and Duquette. The 22-year-old rookie appears to be the team's best option at second base going into the season.
With Machado opening the season on the DL, O's fans could see Ryan Flaherty Alexi Casilla, newly acquired Steve Lombardozzi or Rule V pick Michael Almanzar at the hot corner, but not in the 2-hole. Showalter will be forced to mix things up a little bit in Machado's absence.
We could see a return of Hardy to the second spot in the lineup, or David Lough could bat there on days that he plays, which are expected to be against right-handed pitchers. When Machado returns, Lough would be moved to one of the bottom two spots in the lineup, or could even bat leadoff.
As the Boston Red Sox are expected to have Jon Lester, a lefty, start for them on opening day, the Orioles' lineup probably would be tweaked with Cruz replacing Lough in left field and Delmon Young taking over as the DH.
Delmon Young, DH
Again, that's what a typical lineup against lefties could look like throughout the season. With Machado out early in the season, it's even more likely that Hardy takes over the 2-spot against lefties, with any of the four guys I mentioned above replacing Machado at third base.
You'll notice two changes with this lineup against left-handers: Davis and Jones are flip-flopped, as are Hardy and Wieters. As Davis is a left-handed batter and Jones is a right-hander, it only makes sense to bat Jones third against lefties and Davis fourth. Similar logic applies to Hardy and the switch-hitting Wieters, who is better from the right side of the plate, batting .281 in his career against lefties with a .344 OBP.
Young could potentially make the roster as the DH against lefties because, like Wieters, he hits very well against left-handed pitchers (.303 average and .341 OBP).
I actually published a piece on this exact topic just a few weeks ago, so if you want to read even more on the subject, you can find that here.
In regard to the team's bench, it will likely look as follows:
Ryan Flaherty, Utility Infielder
Delmon Young, DH
Steve Clevenger, C
Steve Pearce, DH/1B/OF
On Tuesday, Showalter informed both Flaherty and Clevenger that they had made the Opening Day roster, meaning Flaherty is quite possibly the starting third baseman until Machado returns.
Beyond that, though, is pure speculation.
The team could take Young up north because of his great bat against lefties. However, he is on a minor league deal so they could easily send him down if they feel another player is more deserving.
Pearce is in a similar situation. The team doesn't exactly need him, but the right-handed hitter is one of few options to back up Davis at first base and can also hit lefties well. He's a scrappy, hard-nosed player who tends to find his way into the O's plans and has done a solid job when called upon.