The Orioles officially removed infielder Yamaico Navarro from the 25-man roster today by optioning him to Triple-A Norfolk. The move allowed the Orioles to activate pitcher Chris Tillman from the 15-day disabled list and hand him the ball tonight.
Navarro was hoping to catch a flight back to Norfolk and play in the second game of the Tides’ doubleheader.
The Orioles will go with a three-man bench, preferring to keep the extra bullpen arm as they prepare for next week’s road trip to Boston and New York.
“We’re going to err on the side of carrying the arms, especially protecting the bullpen until guys kind of find their step as starters,” said manager Buck Showalter. “Rick (Adair) and I spent a lot of time, mostly leaning with what Rick thinks, about protecting some of our guys’ innings, because we want to make sure we’ve got all of our bullets as we go through the season.
“I’m sure we’ll go back to a four-man bench at some point.”
It also helps that the roster includes versatile players who can handle various positions.
“Chris Davis gives us some versatility. Manny (Machado), for that matter, if we had to,” Showalter said. “(Steve) Pearce is a third catcher, potentially. Jonesy (Adam Jones) will tell you he’s very versatile and can play anywhere. Nicky (Markakis) could come in and play first base as well as you want to play. That has something to do with it.”
Navarro lasted only one day in Baltimore, but Showalter and executive vice president Dan Duquette weren’t taking any chances yesterday by going with a short roster.
Ryan Flaherty is starting at second base again tonight, but Alexi Casilla will make the start on Sunday. Showalter said he won’t necessarily go with a strict platoon while Brian Roberts is on the disabled list, but it could happen.
For the Twins
Aaron Hicks CF
Joe Mauer C
Josh Willingham LF
Justin Morneau 1B
Ryan Doumit DH
Trevor Plouffe 3B
Chris Parmelee RF
Brian Dozier 2B
Pedro Florimon SS
Vance Worley RHP