There must have been some reason why the Orioles decided they wanted to have Ryan Lavarnway on the team at the beginning of the season. We never really saw what that reason might have been. Now it seems we never will. On Tuesday afternoon the Orioles sent Lavarnway to the great DFA in the sky.
There isn't much surprise about this move. It's seemed like the O's only played Lavarnway out of absolute desperation over the first couple of months of the season. He's only played in 10 of the team's 42 games, accumulating a paltry .107/.219/.143 batting line in 32 plate appearances.
Replacing Lavarnway on the roster is Baltimore native Steve Clevenger, whom you may recall was on the Orioles Opening Day roster but was optioned the next day when Chris Davis was activated from his suspension. Clevenger has been hitting so well for Norfolk that the Orioles couldn't ignore him any longer. In 27 games for the Tides, he's batted .352/.413/.451.
Caleb Joseph could probably use more frequent rest and Clevenger can probably serve as a better backup than Lavarnway. In that sense this move is a no-brainer, with the only question being why didn't they do it sooner?
It's probably a very short-term arrangement, however well Clevenger does or doesn't perform for the big club. The O's still seem to be expecting Matt Wieters back when he's eligible to return from the disabled list on June 4. That's only nine days away. One of those nine days being a single admission doubleheader, we can be reasonably sure that if nothing else, Clevenger will catch one of those games.
Maybe this is insurance so they don't have to rush with Wieters. They might even be inclined to keep a third catcher around if they don't want to drop Wieters into a heavy workload right away. Who ever knows the mind of Dan Duquette?