Tatum optioned

The good news for Craig Tatum is he avoided the disabled list.

The bad news is he couldn't avoid the minors.

The Orioles optioned Tatum to Triple-A Norfolk this morning to make room for Matt Wieters.

Tatum, who's batting .271 in 32 games, met with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail and interim manager Juan Samuel.

"They just said, 'Go down to Norfolk and we'll see when we can get you back,'" Tatum said. "Andy told me it wasn't from a lack of production or anything like that. It's just the fact that our bullpen's been taxed and they need to carry 13 pitchers. I'm the guy who takes the fall.

"It sucks, but what can you do? I understand why I've got to go down, but at the same time, you don't understand it. He said he'll try to get me back up here when he can, but he couldn't make any promises that, if a trade doesn't go through, how long I'll be down there for. I'll just go down there and ride on buses.

"He told me if they make a trade, I'll be back up here. He said I deserve to be up here, but it's just a matter of circumstances."

Asked if the news comes as a surprise, Tatum replied, "It should be a surprise. I think I've been playing extremely well. It just sucks to have an option, I guess."

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