Anthony Santander was the Rule 5 pick the Orioles kept this season. Here we are in mid-August and they've finally brought him along to the actual big league team, with an injury recovery dragging out Santander being activated from the disabled list until just now.
On Wednesday night, with Santander's 20-day rehab stint maxed out, the Orioles officially put him on the active roster. He had been on the disabled list up until now due to recovering from both offseason shoulder surgery and what was described during spring training as some kind of forearm soreness.
To make room for Santander on the 25-man roster, the Orioles optioned last year's Rule 5 pick, Joey Rickard, to Triple-A Norfolk. It's a good bet that Rickard will be back as soon as the rosters expand in September.
This was a bit of a surprising move to me in that I expected the Orioles would keep Rickard up and just send out Craig Gentry. However, it seems like the O's preferred to option the guy they can still keep rather than designate for assignment the guy they might lose.
If you haven't spent a whole lot of time thinking about the 22-year-old outfielder before now, check out our Alex Conway's article on what Santander might be able to bring to the Orioles this season and in the future.
The last time the Orioles took one of these raw, never been above A-ball prospects in the Rule 5 was Jason Garcia in 2015. Garcia has mostly spent his tenure in the O's organization making me wonder why they bothered. Here's hoping that Santander can show more than that.
Not that a 15-game sample in Double-A Bowie tells us a ton, but it was one heck of a rehab assignment for Santander, who had never played at that level before. He batted .380/.458/.780. That included five home runs. Impressive.
Santander probably won't get all that much playing time as long as the Orioles are still imagining themselves as playoff contenders. If their play over the next couple of weeks drops them out, then they will have a chance to get a look at what he has to offer against big league competition to see whether he's really worth considering as part of their outfield of the future.