How losing O'Hearn impacts first base (and other Orioles notes)

Ryan O'Hearn whites

ATLANTA – The decision after Thursday’s game to option Ryan O’Hearn to Triple-A Norfolk takes away a true backup first baseman on the Orioles’ roster.

O’Hearn was bumped by new catcher Luis Torrens, acquired from the Cubs this week for cash considerations.

“Ryan did a great job for us,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “That was tough to say goodbye. Might just be short term. We’ll see. But did a really good job for us in the role that he was in when he was here, so expect to see him back at some point.”

Hyde might be thinking a little outside the box to give Ryan Mountcastle an occasional break.

James McCann played an inning at first base this week in Kansas City and made six starts with the Mets. Adley Rutschman played first in college and the minors but not with the Orioles. Anthony Santander keeps taking ground balls at first and got some reps in spring training, but his last real game experience was in 2016 with Single-A Lynchburg.

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Orioles option O'Hearn to make room for Torrens

Luis Torrens Cubs

ATLANTA – Catcher Luis Torrens has joined the Orioles in Atlanta and is added to the 26-man roster for tonight’s series opener against the Braves.

In a corresponding move, first baseman Ryan O’Hearn was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

O’Hearn appeared in nine games and went 5-for-19 (.263) with a .634 OPS, one double and six RBIs.

Torrens, who’s wearing No. 13, gives the Orioles a third catcher and reduces the risk of putting Adley Rutschman and James McCann in the same lineup. He’s also a right-handed bat for the bench.

Rutschman and McCann could pair up again tonight with Atlanta starting left-hander Max Fried.

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Brandon Hyde on Torrens acquisition and other pregame notes

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KANSAS CITY – The Orioles today acquired catcher Luis Torrens, a veteran of 264 major league games, from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for cash considerations. He has not yet reported to the team and manager Brandon Hyde said he wasn’t sure what day that would happen. To make 40-man roster room, reliever Joey Krehbiel was designated for assignment.

Hyde said this afternoon that this move is not about the health of either of his two catchers, confirming that both Adley Rutschman and James McCann are fine physically. However, Triple-A catcher Maverick Handley went on the injured list today with a hand contusion. Mark Kolozsvary was seen here this week and it's assumed that he is the taxi-squad catcher for this series. 

For now, the Orioles may be about to again carry three catchers. Hyde was asked if that was the plan.

“Yeah,” he said.

“Haven’t seen much of him (Torrens),” Hyde said during his pregame media update. “Saw him against Seattle last year. But just know that he is a guy that has hit left-handers well in his career (with a .725 OPS) and done a nice job behind the plate. Besides that, don’t know much about him. Looking forward to getting to know him.

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Orioles acquire Torrens from Cubs (updated)


The Orioles made a roster move before tonight’s game in Kansas City, and it didn’t involve calling up one of their minor league players.

Catcher Luis Torrens was acquired from the Cubs in exchange for cash considerations, the team announced. He didn't report to the Orioles today, and manager Brandon Hyde may provide more information to the assembled media.

Torrens, who turned 27 yesterday, was batting .250/.318/.300 (5-for-20) with one double and three RBIs in 13 games. He signed with the Cubs as a minor league free agent in January.

The Orioles are Torren’s fifth organization. The Reds selected him from the Yankees in the 2016 Rule 5 draft and traded him that day to the Padres for a player to be named later who became infielder/outfielder Josh VanMeter. San Diego traded him to the Mariners in August 2020 in a seven-player deal.

Torrens has appeared in 264 major league games and batted .227/.289/.352 with 19 home runs and 78 RBIs in 799 plate appearances. He played in 108 games with Seattle in 2021 and finished with 16 doubles, two triples, 15 home runs and 47 RBIs.

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