Could Henry Urrutia, the 26-year old former Cuban defector who is mashing his way through the minor leagues, be on his way to the major league roster sooner rather than later? According to MASN's Roch Kubatko's sources, he may very well be.
Guess who else is not with Norfolk? Henry Urrutia. According to sources, he's gonna be in Texas for a workout. Prob added to roster after— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) July 18, 2013
The "who else" is in reference to Roch earlier reporting that Danny Valencia was not with Norfolk, perhaps on his way to join the major league club as well. Roch's speculation was that Nolan Reimold could be headed to the disabled list to make room for Valencia.
If Urrutia is being added to the roster as well, that would necessitate moves on both the 25-man and 40-man rosters. This is always a fun game to play with Dan Duquette roster moves. It's possible that Valencia could be designated for assignment to make room for Urrutia on the 40-man roster and Reimold could be placed on the DL with a "hamstring injury" and that would connect all of this afternoon's dots.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports tweets a more definite statement: the Orioles are promoting Urrutia.
UPDATE (4:00pm): The Baltimore beat crew has confirmed that the Orioles will be adding both Urrutia and Valencia, meaning that there will have to be two spaces cleared on the 25-man roster and one 40-man roster spot opened. If we take Reimold to the DL as a given, that leaves one 25-man and one 40-man spot to be cleared.
The most-likely option bait would seem to be Ryan Flaherty. 40-man dead weight could be Steve Johnson being transferred to the 60-day disabled list, or a pitcher like Josh Stinson could be designated for assignment.
Urrutia is in his first professional season in the United States. He began the year with 52 games at Double-A Bowie, during which he batted .365/.433/.550, and after a promotion to Triple-A Norfolk, he continued the hot hitting, with a .367/.406/.467 slash line in 15 games.
Talent evaluators like ESPN's Keith Law indicate that scouts think Urrutia probably profiles as just a designated hitter, but as you may have noticed, Orioles designated hitters are second-worst in the American League. Even a modest performance like a .700 OPS would be an improvement. Anything above that would be gravy.