In anticipation of needing another reliever on the roster for Saturday's game, the Orioles announced after Friday's game that Henry Urrutia has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.
The left-handed hitting Urrutia has mostly been used as a designated hitter, but he has mostly taken his place among the light-hitting, poor on-base DH players that the O's have employed thus far this year. In a month, Urrutia has had 52 at-bats and has not worked a single walk. He only has one extra-base hit in that time, a triple against Kansas City that was the result of an outfielder misplaying a single into a triple.
It all adds up to a .269/.269/.308 batting line. The experiment was worth a try, but Urrutia is not the answer this year, not against righties or anyone else. With Wilson Betemit working his way up through the minor leagues on a rehab assignment and probably not too far away from returning to the Orioles, Urrutia's presence is no longer necessary.
Who the Orioles might call up for the bullpen is still not known. These are your minor league pitchers on the 40-man roster: Mike Belfiore, Zach Britton, Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Steve Johnson, Josh Stinson, and Tsuyoshi Wada.
Britton threw 5.2 innings on Thursday night. Bundy is out after having Tommy John surgery. Gausman is having a start skipped due to vague arm soreness (panic!) Any of the others could find themselves summoned to the majors for a day or three.
The bullpen has been heavily taxed recently, and with so many pitchers struggling in addition to being used a lot, there is the need for an extra reliever. This became even more pronounced when Francisco Rodriguez left Friday's game with a right groin strain. He may end up on the disabled list, but even if he doesn't, he will probably need a couple of days to rest, and in the meantime the Orioles need an emergency reliever who isn't just a starter on a throw day.
Urrutia wasn't producing as well as they hoped, so he is the one sent down to make room for that player. We will probably find out who it is when the beat writers arrive at the stadium in the afternoon and see who has a locker or whose name is listed with the reserves.