Since Avery can’t be in two places at once, he’s assumed that he’s here in case first baseman Nick Johnson goes on the disabled list with a sore right wrist.
Avery makes sense because the Orioles would be replacing one left-handed hitter with another, and Avery is on the 40-man roster. Also, Avery has hit .333 (14-for-42) with eight walks, five stolen bases and 11 runs scored in his last 11 games.
The Orioles are going to face a succession of right-handed pitchers, as manager Buck Showalter pointed out yesterday, so Avery could become a regular in the lineup.
The Orioles are short one bench player after activating reliever Matt Lindstrom from the disabled list yesterday and optioning infielder/outfielder Steve Tolleson, who will report to Norfolk on Saturday. Johnson’s injury - he left last night’s game after one at-bat and was expected to undergo an MRI today - further limited Showalter’s options.
Avery, 22, batted .217/.299/.317 with four doubles, one triple, four RBIs and four stolen bases in 15 games with the Orioles this season before being optioned while battling a 3-for-30 slump. The club noticed that he was trying too hard to pull the ball and fell into some bad habits at the plate. It also was decided that he needed to get regular at-bats with Norfolk.
MASNsports.com’s Steve Melewski first tweeted the news on Avery.
Meanwhile, Double-A Bowie shortstop Manny Machado is batting .429 (12-for-28) with three home runs and 13 RBIs in eight games since being chosen for the All-Star Futures Game. There’s been some discussion in the organization about moving him up to Norfolk at some point during the summer.
For the Orioles:
Brian Roberts 2B
Xavier Avery LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis DH
Matt Wieters C
Wilson Betemit 3B
Mark Reynolds 1B
Ryan Flaherty RF
Wei-Yin Chen LHP
Update: The Orioles have issued a press release confirming the Avery move. Johnson was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right wrist sprain.