Dennis Sarfate has cleared waivers after being designated for assignment last week, and the Orioles outrighted him to Triple-A Norfolk.
Sarfate received an invitation to spring training and will attempt to make the club as a non-roster pitcher.
I would expect to see Sarfate back in Baltimore at some point this summer if he remains in the organization. His primary competition in Sarasota will come from Matt Albers, Cla Meredith and Kam Mickolio. The Orioles also could move David Hernandez or Jason Berken to the bullpen, further limiting the openings for Sarfate.
The Orioles are expected to carry seven relievers, and you can pencil in Mike Gonzalez, Jim Johnson, Mark Hendrickson and Koji Uehara.
Sarfate figured it would be difficult for a team to claim him now with most spring training rosters being set. He’d have a better chance next month or early April.
Sarfate said he spoke with pitching coach Rick Kranitz earlier today.
“I’m glad to be back,” he said. “I told Kranny that I intend to make the team out of spring training. Even if I was on the roster, I’d have to perform to make the team. If I out-perform everyone and they give me a numbers thing and say there’s no roster spot, then I’ll be a little more upset. But I think they have every intention of giving me every opportunity.
“It’s been a humbling thing. It woke me up. I know my stuff is good. It’s put up or shut up. And if I don’t make the team out of spring training, there might be other teams that want to trade for me once they see that I’m healthy. I’m not worried about it.”
Sarfate said he threw a bullpen session yesterday in front of a scout from another organization, and his fastball was clocked at 94-96 mph. His slider registered at 87 mph.
“I think I’ve got a little more to offer,” he said. “I put in the time this off-season to get better. I think it’s going to be a good spring and I’ll force their hand a little bit.
“Me and my wife talked about it, and the only reason we were a little excited about maybe going to another team was the chance for me to be in Arizona for spring training and to stay home longer. But we both love Baltimore. If they give me a legitimate chance to make the team, I’m excited and happy about it.”