The Orioles entered Wednesday with 40 players still in big league camp. That must turn into 25 before long. Between split-squad games, they made four more unsurprising moves to pare down the roster further. Steve Johnson and Henry Urrutia were optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, and Alexi Casilla and Quintin Berry were reassigned to the minor league camp.
This leaves the O's with 36 players in camp, though only four of the remaining players are non-roster invitees.
These moves don't do much to make any of the remaining roster battles any more clear. Urrutia had figured to be out of the picture since the signing of Nelson Cruz, and Johnson has always been a fringe candidate at best. Casilla is another player who may have been competing for a spot but was squeezed out by the recent acquisition of Steve Lombardozzi, as well as the emergence of Jonathan Schoop as a serious possibility for the Opening Day roster.
At least three players are known to be headed to the disabled list before the season starts: Manny Machado, reliever Edgmer Escalona, and outfielder Francisco Peguero. Rule 5 pick Michael Almanzar looks like another DL possibility. There's also the pending suspension of Troy Patton, who's in camp but won't be on the season-opening roster. That will make the job of forming the team a little bit easier in that there may only be five more cuts to make, rather than 11.
Nolan Reimold has been scratched from the lineup for the night game on Wednesday. This could mean he's headed towards the disabled list as well. This is obviously stunning news to everyone who's followed his career. It's always possible the scratch was for another reason.
Sometimes reporters know things but they can't report those things because no one will go on the record about them. MASN's Roch Kubatko left this tweet that makes me think Reimold's health was one of those reporter secrets:
Reimold hasn't been playing the OF, as you may have noticed. Was supposed to DH again tonight. #orioles— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) March 26, 2014
To me, that sounds like someone who knows there was a reason for Reimold not playing in the outfield. If that reason is health-related, and it could well be since it's Reimold, that's probably what has knocked him out of tonight's game too.
UPDATE 6:15pm: It's official now that Reimold will be hitting the disabled list to start the season. He last played in a game on March 25, so his DL date will be retroactive to then. Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reported that Reimold "has had issues looking upward with his neck" and that's why he's not been playing in the outfield.
The big mysteries remain who exactly will be in the bullpen, who will start at second base, and who will emerge from the right-handed trio of Reimold, Steve Pearce, and Delmon Young. Hopefully not Young. It seems we will still be waiting another day or more to find out those.