Interim manager Juan Samuel admitted that today’s roster move wasn’t an easy one. He didn’t want to lose Craig Tatum, but the club knew that Jake Fox would get claimed on waivers and it couldn’t go with a seven-man bullpen.
“Tatum has done a good job for us handling the pitching staff, and he’s been great in that clubhouse,” Samuel said. “He’s probably done a lot better than what we anticipated coming out of spring training. He’s come up with some big, big hits, and handling the pitching staff, he’s done an outstanding job.
“It’s one of those tough decisions where it comes down to who has options and who doesn’t, and our need with the bullpen to keep as many pitchers as we can. Unfortunately for him, he’s the one who had to pay the consequences for that. But hopefully he can get back here as soon as we can get him back.
“He’s disappointed, which we all know that guys who have done a good job here think they should be up here, and he should be up here. He deserves to be up here. It’s just one of those unfortunate situations where the numbers kind of are against him right now.”
The Orioles gave strong consideration to placing Tatum on the disabled list.
“He came in this morning and I think he was the first one who went to the cages and took some swings, and said if we needed him, he’d be ready to catch tomorrow, which is good,” Samuel said. “He can go down there and get back into action. He won’t lose as many games and he can keep his swing going, and probably help some of those young guys down there. They’ve got some good young guys down there, and with his experience now up here, he could definitely pass that on and help some of those guys, so they know what needs to get done up here. As you know, some of these guys have been pitching good down there, but then they come up here and the transition hasn’t been as easy. He could pass some things on that they need to know to get hitters out at this level.”
Tatum’s primary concern is whether he might be stuck in the minors until rosters expand in September. The Orioles can’t make any promises.
“You actually don’t know,” Samuel said. “You hope it’s not going to be until September. You hope something’s going to happen and he’ll be up here soon.”
Matt Wieters is slated to catch the next three games and rest on the final day in Toronto.
Ty Wigginton is the emergency third catcher.