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Orioles activate Welington Castillo and stick with three catchers

The Orioles finally addressed the problem of too many outfielders - but, as they bring Castillo back from the disabled list, they’ve now got too many catchers.

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

There are times where it seems like Orioles general manager Dan Duquette is actively trolling everyone who observes the Orioles roster. Tuesday’s roster move where the team activated catcher Welington Castillo from the 10-day disabled list is proving to be one of those times.

It wasn’t a surprise that the Orioles activated Castillo. We all knew that would happen. What is a surprise is that, for today at least, the Orioles made the decision to outright outfielder Craig Gentry to Triple-A Norfolk in order to make room for Castillo on the roster.

This means that the Orioles, while they have tackled the glut of outfielders on the roster, sort of, have still not addressed the short-handed six-man bullpen. Instead, they are carrying three catchers, as Francisco Pena, who you might have assumed would be designated for assignment when the Orioles brought Castillo back, gets a reprieve.

As a general rule, having a third catcher on the roster is one of the less useful things that you can do. This is just accepted wisdom from experience. A team is seldom going to use a third catcher. He adds little flexibility to the roster.

Maybe soon Pena will be sent packing to get that seventh reliever into the bullpen. Maybe this is just a short-term, one-game situation with the three catchers. That could be it. But for now it’s one of those decisions that Duquette makes that leaves the outside observer scratching his or her head and thinking, “What the heck is he doing?”

I don’t know what Duquette is doing. Presumably, Duquette knows what he is doing, even if it’s hard to see what that is when there are three catchers on the 25-man roster in mid-May.