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Orioles make first wave of spring training cuts, send five players to minor league camp

The Orioles made their first cuts of spring on Monday afternoon, sending five players to minor league camp, including 40-man pitcher Oliver Drake, optioned to Norfolk.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles pared down their spring training roster by five players on Monday afternoon. Four were non-roster invitees being reassigned to minor league camp: Infielder Michael Almanzar, catcher Brian Ward, and pitchers Dane De La Rosa and Chris Jones. Also, the team optioned pitcher Oliver Drake to Triple-A Norfolk.

None of these were surprising moves. A lot of things would have had to go wrong for any of them to make the team coming out of spring training. Odds of seeing any at the big league level with the O's this year are small. But there's little risk in taking a look at a bunch of people over the first couple of weeks of workouts and games, not to mention that a team needs some sacrificial players to toss out in the late innings of spring training games while they're trying to ease players into their workload.

Four of the five had appeared in Grapefruit League games. Almanzar got five plate appearances over five games, with two hits including a home run. Ward batted four times over four games, recording two hits. Jones appeared in two games, allowing a run in 2.2 innings pitched. Drake also pitched in two games, giving up four runs in only 1.1 innings of work.

It's spring training, a small sample size that generally doesn't matter. All of them would have soon been ticketed for minor league camp even if they'd all thrown perfect innings or hit home runs every time up. That's the way it is.

The O's started out with 57 players in camp and even with these five reassigned, they have 52, more than double what they can carry on the 25-man roster. This is only the first wave, with more to come over the next month.