To take the roster spots of Mike Belfiore, who was optioned to Triple-A yesterday, and Wei-Yin Chen, who was placed on the disabled list today, the Orioles recalled pitcher Alex Burnett and infielder Yamaico Navarro from Norfolk.
Both players have been on the O’s roster already this season, twice before in the case of Burnett.
The 25-year-old Navarro, who returns for a second stint, was with the Orioles from April 5-6 but did not see game action. In 34 games with Norfolk, Navarro was batting .303 with two homers and 13 RBIs. He scored 28 runs in those 34 games and posted a .395 on-base percentage for the Tides.
The right-handed batter is having a good month of May, batting .348 in 11 games this month with a .455 OBP and .889 OPS. He has played second base and shortstop for the Tides.
“Yeah, I’m excited,” Navarro said of rejoining the Orioles. “Not sure how they will use me. My swing right now has been going great. I’ve been playing well and I feel good.”
Burnett, 25, joins the Orioles for the third time (also April 22-24 and May 9-10). He appeared in one game, allowing one hit and striking out one in a scoreless inning May 9 against Kansas City. In seven games with Norfolk, Burnett was 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA and eight strikeouts over 9 2/3 innings.
Burnett is happy to back with the Orioles, but not about the reason that brought him back.
“It’s unfortunate, considering the fact that Chen got hurt,” he said. “It’s unfortunate I am back for that reason, but it is always good to be back.”
Burnett was asked if he can begin to feel part of the team even as he goes up and down between the minors and the majors.
“Yeah, definitely. The first time I was here they made me feel a part of the team. They make you feel real welcome and it’s real easy to feel a part of this team,” he said.
“It all has to do with what your mindset is. My mindset is to do whatever is best for the organization and this team here. If I go down there (to the minors) I try to work to be ready when they need me.”
It has been a whirlwind few weeks for Burnett. He was with the Twins the last three seasons, but was claimed off waivers by Toronto on March 29. Then he was claimed off waivers by the Orioles on April 12 after being designated for assignment by the Jays.
Burnett said he would have no problem pitching if needed tonight, even after throwing 16 pitches Monday afternoon for the Tides at Syracuse. He pitched in the bitter cold of upstate New York, allowing two hits and one run in 1/3 of an inning.
“I could definitely throw tonight, whatever they need. Yesterday was my toughest outing of the year. It was 15 degrees and it was sleeting as I was pitching. Glad to be here in better weather,” Burnett said.