The Orioles are discussing construction possibilities for their roster next week with teams allowed to carry only 13 pitchers. They get a fourth bench player as the forced tradeoff.
Monday’s off day delays the club’s decision, but it’s coming.
Joey Krehbiel is expected to be activated today from the injured list, which removes a reliever from the bullpen. Someone else must go by Tuesday. And the Orioles eventually need a starter to replace Bruce Zimmermann, who was optioned Thursday afternoon.
A fifth starter isn’t required until June 25, so no rush.
Jorge López, Dillon Tate, Félix Bautista, Cionel Pérez and Keegan Akin are safe, and Bryan Baker probably also fits into that category.
Mike Baumann was activated from the taxi squad on Thursday. The team also has Logan Gillaspie, Austin Voth and Nick Vespi.
Gillaspie has allowed five earned runs (six total) and 15 hits in 10 1/3 innings. Four earned and five hits were condensed into one-third of an inning Monday night in Toronto. He's vulnerable.
Voth is out of options. He’d have to clear waivers and accept an outright assignment to stay in the organization.
A new rule in 2022 states that a player can’t be optioned more than five times during the season. It isn’t a factor for the Orioles at this early stage, but they’re doing the math.
The bench had three healthy players last night with Trey Mancini returning to the lineup – catcher Robinson Chirinos, infielder Richie Martin and outfielder Ryan McKenna. Ramón Urías would be the logical choice to join the club as a fourth position player if ready to leave the injured list, but his strained left oblique muscle is keeping him inactive.
The Orioles claimed infielder Jonathan Araúz off waivers this week from the Red Sox, but he must stay down 10 days after they optioned him unless he’s replacing an injured player.
Rylan Bannon is on the 40-man roster and could try to pry Tyler Nevin away from third base. Non-roster infielder Kyle Stowers is allowed to return because his major league debut came as a replacement player.
Infielder Terrin Vavra is on the 40-man and he’s healthy again.
There isn’t an obvious choice.
Nevin had an outstanding game in the field Thursday at Rogers Centre, making a diving stop and handling multiple wicked hops. He also doubled and drove in two runs.
The Rays hit him twice last night.
“Nevin made three or four really nice plays that could have led to some extended innings, so I was really happy with that,” said manager Brandon Hyde.
“He’s done a good job. He’s swung the bat well since he got here, he’s done a real solid job at third base. (Thursday) was his best day. That’s not easy, too, ball coming off turf to dirt, taking some funny bounces at times, kind of the overspin. Thought he handled it extremely well.”
* The Orioles had another successful challenge last night on Anthony Santander's throw to second base to increase the team’s overturn percentage to 78.9, best in the majors. Only the Mets at 75 percent were above 70 before yesterday.
The 15 overturned calls tied the Mets for most in the majors.