Regular roster shuffling has been one of the hallmarks of the Dan Duquette Orioles. With the Orioles starting rotation in disarray and fresh long relievers being needed on an almost daily basis, that has been taken to a whole new level so far this season. On a day-to-day and even week-to-week basis, it’s been hard to keep track of who is even on the team.
Thanks to Duquette stocking the team with optionable arms in spring training and even afterwards, the players who have been coming up and down aren’t even all names you might have recognized from past seasons, like, say, Mike Wright and Tyler Wilson.
The turnings of the roster merry-go-round since Memorial Day weekend:
May 27 - Donnie Hart recalled from Norfolk; Jayson Aquino optioned to Norfolk
Aquino had been back up with the team since the 23rd. He did not pitch in this stint in the big leagues.
Hart returned after a little ten day exile to Triple-A Norfolk, where he pitched in 3.1 innings over three games and did not allow a run.
May 28 - Logan Verrett recalled from Norfolk; Tyler Wilson optioned to Norfolk
Wilson joined the Orioles on May 22 and stuck around until being optioned again here. His being optioned probably had something to do with giving up seven runs, five earned, in just 2.1 innings over two games this time around.
Verrett made his return from the minor leagues after having been optioned there on May 10.
May 31 - Mike Wright recalled from Norfolk; Logan Verrett optioned to Norfolk
Verrett’s MLB stay was brief after he gave up three runs in three innings in a May 30 loss to the Yankees. Also, the Orioles needed a fresh reliever after Chris Tillman pitched just 2.2 innings in that game, so back to the minors for Verrett.
Wright previously spent all of one day with the O’s and had yet to pitch for the big club before this recall. They last optioned him to the minors before this on May 2.
May 31 - Welington Castillo placed on disabled list; Francisco Pena’s contract purchased from Norfolk
Castillo was hit with a foul ball and does not seem to have been wearing Caleb Joseph’s special Kevlar cup to protect him... so off to the DL for him. As Castillo has the third-highest OBP of all O’s with at least 100 PA, it’s unfortunate.
Pena had been designated for assignment by the O’s after Castillo’s last DL stint ended, on May 17. The O’s were later able to send Pena outright to Norfolk, so Pena figures to be back for as long as Castillo is hurt this time.
June 4 - Paul Fry passed through waivers, outrighted from 40-man roster to Norfolk
The Orioles acquired the lefty reliever Fry from Seattle for an international signing bonus slot on April 15. They called him up for two days on April 25-26. He did not pitch for the big league club.
Since then, Fry has been in Norfolk. Over 14 games, he has pitched to a 6.56 ERA with 15 walks and four home runs allowed in 23.1 innings. So not much surprise why he hasn’t been seen in MLB since, nor is it a surprise why wasn’t claimed by any teams as the Orioles passed him off the 40-man roster.
Minor league moves
The opt-out dates came and went for two Norfolk players: recent Oriole Pedro Alvarez and veteran MLBer Edwin Jackson. The Orioles negotiated short extensions to both opt-outs. For Alvarez, he seems to be free to leave at any time if he finds an MLB job elsewhere.
Jackson’s new opt-out is tonight, after which the Orioles will have 48 hours to add him to the roster or allow him to become a free agent.
Andino suspended; Tejada acquired
Robert Andino was a bad boy and was suspended 50 games on May 31 for testing positive for amphetamine. With playing time to fill at Norfolk, the Orioles chose to acquire a player on a minor league deal, Ruben Tejada, from the Yankees for PTBNL or cash. Tejada, 27, has seven years of MLB experience but just a .647 career OPS.
Lucas Luetge signed to minor league deal
Luetge, a lefty reliever, was only just released by the Reds before the Orioles snatched him up. He’ll probably be headed to Norfolk. Luetge, 30, has spent parts of four years in MLB but hasn’t logged more than ten innings at the top level since 2013.
Over 27.2 innings of relief for the Reds Triple-A affiliate in Louisville, Luetge struck out 30 batters and allowed just nine walks, but the 4.55 ERA isn’t inspiring. Still, the Orioles might find a place for him at the big league club due to either his performance or the Orioles being that desperate.