More on Yacabonis, roster move and the rundown

NEW YORK - The Orioles couldn’t announce their roster move this morning until reliever Jimmy Yacabonis arrived at Yankee Stadium. Never assume anything.

Yacabonis provides a fresh arm. He’s been inserted into Triple-A Norfolk’s rotation, but the Tides weren’t starting him until Sunday.

Teams aren’t allowed to recall players on the 40-man roster until Sunday unless the corresponding move involves the disabled list. The Orioles placed outfielder Colby Rasmus on the 10-day DL with a strained left hip flexor.

Manager Buck Showalter was checking on potential non-roster pitchers prior to learning of the severity of Rasmus’ injury.

Jimmy-Yacabonis-gray-sidebar.jpgYacabonis made his major league debut last summer and went 2-0 with a 4.35 ERA and 1.548 WHIP in 20 2/3 innings. He registered a 1.32 ERA and 0.946 WHIP and notched 11 saves in 41 relief appearances with Norfolk.

Rasmus underwent surgery in October 2016 to repair a torn labrum and shave a bone spur in his left hip. He signed minor league deal with the Orioles in February and was 2-for-21 with 13 strikeouts.

Coming off the bench last night, Rasmus struck out twice and grounded to first.

The Orioles were cleared by Major League Baseball to put Rasmus on the DL after he was examined by physicians from both teams.

The bench is down to three players - catcher Caleb Joseph, infielder Danny Valencia and outfielder Craig Gentry.

Showalter said he’s moved on from last night’s controversies, including the rundown play that umpires botched by ruling Gary Sanchez safe at third base after Giancarlo Stanton passed him.

“It happens,” Showalter said. “Ed (Hickox) is one of the really good guys in the game, the home plate umpire. He missed a call on Adam (Jones) in the 14th inning, but you think about all the decisions, and I felt that way win, lose or draw. So, things happen. It worked out well.

“Let’s face it, we’re human beings, you look at it a little differently after you win a game. But you look at mistakes we all make compared to umpires ... Think of all the things they get right. That’s not on the front page when they make a great call.

“I think one thing that the replay has shown is how good they are and how hard the game is to call.”

The Orioles have put in a lot of work to perfect the rundown drill. They had multiple team meetings in spring training.

“You never assume things with rules,” Showalter said. “You ask when two guys are standing on the bag, who’s out. You’d be surprised how many people really don’t know and how you can possibly get a double play. We went over it. All teams, I’m sure, go over it in the spring.”

Joseph ran Giancarlo Stanton back to third base, where Gary Sanchez stood. He tagged Sanchez and kept chasing Stanton, who continued up the line and into shallow left field before veering toward the stands. Joseph also tagged him.

You get a tag, you get a tag, you get a tag ...

“You’re trying to get them both on the bag and get the wrong guy to step off,” Showalter said. “And if you get the timing right, especially with younger players, you can tag one right before he gets there and the other guy has a tendency to step off.”

It presents a different dynamic when the runner passes the bag and keeps going.

“That’s a different one,” Showalter said. “That’s what I was telling them. I said we’re going to start teaching that next spring. Just run out to the left field foul pole and see if they’ll chase you.”

While arguing the call last night, Showalter said he asked the umpires to explain what would happen if the runner turned after going past the bag and headed back toward the plate. Is he still in play?

No answer was forthcoming and Showalter pretty much made his point.

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