Towards the end of Monday night’s game against the Rays, Orioles infielder Ramón Urías was hurt while running to first base late in the game. The team announced a hamstring strain after the game with more information today. Here we are on Tuesday and the first sign of how serious it is arrives with Urías being placed on the 10-day injured list.
This was only one part of what is a decent-sized roster shuffle. The Orioles also chose to option lefty reliever Keegan Akin back to Triple-A Norfolk. In addition, third catcher Luis Torrens, who has yet to appear in a game for the team, was designated for assignment. That is one thing fewer for everybody to complain about.
With those three players sent off in different ways, the Orioles recalled three players from Triple-A Norfolk to take their spots: Lefty bench batters Ryan O’Hearn and Terrin Vavra, and lefty pitching prospect Drew Rom. The 23-year-old Rom was tied for #18 on our composite top 20 Orioles prospect ranking before the season. His first appearance will mark his MLB debut.
Rom’s addition to the roster seems to be about adding a fresh pitcher who’s already on the 40-man roster as insurance in case of a short start over the next couple of days. Akin pitched two innings on Monday and hasn’t gotten good results overall this season. He was an easy choice to option.
Rom had been scheduled to start on Tuesday for Norfolk, so he should be able to go for as long as his stuff lets him if either Grayson Rodriguez or Dean Kremer turn one of the remaining games against the Rays into a lost cause and the team requires someone to eat up some innings without taxing the regular group of relievers. For Norfolk this season, Rom has posted a 2.87 ERA in six starts, striking out just about a batter per inning while allowing just two home runs in 31.1 IP.
O’Hearn and Vavra have already been seen with the Orioles so far this season. Vavra has appeared in 15 games, batting .231/.310/.231 so far. He’s 22% of the way to a Caleb Joseph 2016 no RBI season. O’Hearn, a spring training standout, has played in nine games so far, batting .263/.318/.316.
There is no indication from the team as of this writing how long Urías will be missing or how severe of a hamstring strain it is. The fact that the Orioles have recalled Vavra rather than Joey Ortiz or even Jordan Westburg seems to suggest it’s not anticipated to be a lengthy absence for Urías.