Recapping a busy day for Orioles

A nine-inning baseball game last night felt like the calmest moment that the Orioles experienced, even in the heat of a pennant race.

Roster moves were distributed to the media as if shot out of a T-shirt gun. The spring training schedule was released, minus report dates and times.

The pace figures to slow today, with just the corresponding 40-man roster move to accommodate first baseman Jesús Aguilar.

Active rosters grow from 26 to 28 players, and we already know that the Orioles are using those spots on Aguilar and left-hander DL Hall.

Rewinding to yesterday’s activity, the biggest surprise might have been the selection of Gunnar Henderson’s contract rather than his placement on the taxi squad, which was the plan Tuesday night.

Aguilar’s agreement could be responsible for the change. He was a free agent after the Marlins released him, and the Orioles made immediate contact with his representative at MVP Sports Group.

A deal was struck, and the Orioles brought in a player who hit 35 home runs in 2018 – manager Brandon Hyde remembers a lot of damage coming against his Cubs – and 140 in the minors.

I wondered who would back up at first base if the Orioles didn’t keep Tyler Nevin on the major league roster. Nevin was optioned yesterday. Aguilar wasn’t available until today.

We may never know what Hyde would have done if Ryan Mountcastle had left the game with an injury.

Nevin’s removal didn’t come as a surprise. He wasn’t playing much, whether due to the long line of right-handed starters facing the Orioles or Hyde’s desire to keep certain infielders in the lineup.

The media learned yesterday that Aguilar is large, living up to his 277 pounds, and vying for title of gentlest giant. He asked whether he looked all right as the television camera was rolling, and leaned his face into the lens. Immediately comfortable joking with a group of strangers.

Pitcher Denyi Reyes was designated for assignment to make room for Aguilar on the 40-man. Not a shocker. He was one of the vulnerable guys on the list with his 7.50 ERA and 1.595 WHIP with Norfolk.

The Orioles also announced yesterday that Travis Lakins Sr., on the 60-day injured list, cleared waivers and was assigned to Norfolk.

The move wasn’t attached to the 40-man, since Lakins had already left it. It was an indication that he’s healthy and no longer able to stay on the IL.

Yesterday also enlightened us to Hyde’s plans for Henderson, which, of course, could change as the Orioles move through September.

Hyde expressed his preference to keep Henderson on the left side of the infield, and that leaves third base while Jorge Mateo remains the everyday shortstop. The Orioles won’t bench Ramón Urías, who hit his 15th home run last night. They used him as the designated hitter and can move him to second base when Rougned Odor is out of the lineup.

We might see Henderson at second base, but it seems to be the second-lowest preference for Hyde after first base.

Good to know that Henderson can play them, though.

The spring training schedule didn’t do much for me, besides the disappointment of only one visit to North Port, the second-shortest drive after Bradenton, and it’s for a split-squad game. Two trips to Dunedin could bring me to tears.

Nothing on the East Coast. I miss it, but not enough to make that drive.

I was braced for the World Baseball Classic disrupting the spring routine. Then again, we still haven’t been told the report dates.

Anyway, when is Grayson Rodriguez getting here?

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