Chris Parmelee has been raking to the tune of a .312/.381/.446 batting line for the Triple-A Norfolk Tides this season. The left-handed first baseman/outfielder has a June 15 opt-out date in his contract, which means that the Orioles need to decide whether they want to do something with him promptly.
Parmelee is definitely not in Norfolk, according to Tides beat writer David Hall, and might be kicking around Camden Yards, although MASN's Roch Kubatko says that the team has placed Parmelee on the taxi squad, meaning they have avoided the need to make a decision for another 24 hours.
That level of performance at Norfolk is not a guarantee of any kind of big league success, of course. There's always what they call AAAA players, who are good enough to have success at Triple-A but not really good enough to hack it in the majors. Parmelee played in parts of four seasons for the Twins before this year, batting a combined .249/.317/.392. Maybe that's who he is. Maybe he needed a change of scenery.
The Orioles have already sent one struggling left-handed outfielder packing. One remains on the roster in the form of Travis Snider, from whom I have to think the O's were hoping they'd get greater than a .653 OPS by mid-June. Snider is in the lineup on Monday against the Phillies, so if there is going to be a roster move today, it seems like it won't be him.
If they were going to cut him tomorrow it would also be weird to have him in the lineup today. Why not just add Parmelee today, in that case? It's not impossible that they could play Snider today and cut him tomorrow. Dan Duquette is not known for being sentimental.
Other possible cuts who stand out for poor performance are Delmon Young (.663 OPS) and Steve Pearce (.648 OPS). Pearce offers the vague value of unexpectedly capable second base play. Young crashes through the outfield like a bowling ball, occasionally firing a strike to throw out some runner who thinks, heck, I'll run on Delmon Young out there. Young leads the AL in outfield assists.
Of course, it's always possible that one of these guys has been nursing some injury and that's why they aren't hitting their way out of a wet paper bag. Or if they don't have an injury, they could have a real enough injury for the disabled list. Watch out for potholes, is all I'm saying.
If there's anything Duquette loves more than making roster moves, it's taking the maximum allotted time to make roster moves before he has to make them. Parmelee's Norfolk performance has been good enough that it would be tough for the O's to just let him opt out and go wherever someone might give him a big league job.
More importantly, Orioles outfield performance has been poor enough that there's not much risk involved in giving Parmelee a shot over someone else.
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