More on Orioles roster moves, Hays stays in lineup

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The final composition of the Orioles’ 26-man roster likely will remain unresolved until the team reconvenes in Baltimore.

Manager Brandon Hyde mentioned in today’s media scrum that Jordan Westburg made the club. He wasn’t prepared to share more than the obvious.

“We still have a lot of decisions to make,” Hyde said. “The usual guys are on the team. Just the last couple spots that we’re still going through some things.”

Ryan McKenna and Tyler Nevin are out of options and in the running. Colton Cowser is in a 3-for-21 skid and hasn’t been told that he’s at Camden Yards for Opening Day.

Until we receive confirmation, we're left with scenarios that include McKenna and Cowser, Nevin and Cowser, or McKenna and Nevin for the last two openings among position players.

Second baseman Kolten Wong was granted his release after going 6-for-30 in 12 games and hitting his first home run yesterday in Port Charlotte. He mentored Jackson Holliday at second base. They’re both gone.

Pitcher Julio Teheran also got his release after opting out of his contract. He didn’t make the rotation or stay in a long-relief role after posting a 3.38 ERA in five appearances, with five runs and nine hits, seven walks and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings. Opponents hit .184 against him.

Those four scoreless innings yesterday in Port Charlotte didn’t sway the Orioles.

“He’s a free agent and able to seek other employment,” Hyde said.

Asked whether the Orioles considered Teheran for long relief, Hyde said, “Yeah, we considered everybody.”

“Gave him an opportunity. Just right now it’s not a right fit, but wish him the best.”

The Orioles have five off-days before May and might not need the length, but Hyde didn’t state it as a reason why Teheran was released.

“I think we’re just trying to take our best 13 pitchers at the moment and try to win games early,” he said. “Off-days do help in a lot of ways, but we haven’t finalized the eight guys in our bullpen at this point.”

Reliever Bryan Baker might have been a victim of the option system. He has one left and could be sent down after allowing one earned run and two total with four hits and eight strikeouts in seven innings. But he also walked five batters.

Jacob Webb is out of options. However, the Orioles also appear to be keeping Keegan Akin and Dillon Tate, who can be sent down.

"All of those types of things factor into your decisions," Hyde said when asked about Baker. "When guys have options or guys don't have options, you've got to think about it and you've got to talk about it. We understand that you're not just taking 13 guys to Baltimore that are going to be pitching for us. We need guys in Triple-A that are going to be helpful.

"By sending him down, it's a guy who has an option that has pitched for us over the last couple years. I'm sure he'll be on the club at some point."

Andrew Suárez opted out of his minor league deal but didn’t request his release. He allowed four runs and seven hits in 10 1/3 innings. He tossed six scoreless over his first four appearances.

Austin Hays is in left field today, playing with a bruised right shoulder after being hit by a pitch last night. The ball didn’t strike bone, which is why he’s on the trip.

Being nailed on the right shoulder while batting from the right side isn’t easy to do.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before,” he said. “Definitely never been hit there by a pitch. There’s definitely worse players. I’m glad it didn’t hit me in the hands, the wrists or anything like that. It’s a pretty meaty area, no bones or anything in there. Just a bruise.

“Kind of gave me a dead arm. I felt like I couldn’t throw a ball, so that’s why I came out of the game, because I was playing the outfield. But treated it last night, feels pretty good today. Back in there today.”

Hays has amassed only 26 at-bats because of the stomach flu and Friday’s rainout. Last night was the latest interruption to his spring.

“It’s been a strange last week and a half,” he said.

“It will be good to get today’s game in, and then we’ll have a couple lives, a couple guys throwing over the next couple days, so be able to get plenty of at-bats in before Opening Day.”

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