The Orioles made a somewhat surprising move Tuesday, designating outfielder Julio Borbon for assignment while reinstating pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez from the paternity list and Hyun Soo Kim from the disabled list.
Borbon had played in just five games, going 2-for-9 since his recall from Double-A Bowie. So, conceptually, a move involving him is not a surprise.
But because the club had already optioned Dariel Alvarez to the minors after Monday’s game in anticipation of the Kim decision, the Orioles are now left with just 12 position players on the roster. They have only four true outfielders – utility man Ryan Flaherty would act as the fifth – and none are true center fielders besides starter Adam Jones.
But Orioles manager Buck Showalter said in his pregame press conference Tuesday that with no off day until Monday, the club may want to go with 13 pitchers for now.
Ultimately, that affected the decision to designate Borbon, a 30-year-old veteran who agreed to play at Double-A this year due to crowded outfield at Triple-A.
The organization now has 10 days to trade, release or ask waivers on Borbon.
Kim, 28, had two hits – including a homer at Bowie on Monday (pictured above) – in seven at-bats during a two-game rehab stint for his strained right hamstring.
He was eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday.
The Orioles also needed to make a move with Jimenez, whose three days on the paternity list had expired. On Saturday night, Jimenez’s wife gave birth to the couple’s first daughter, Jimevi.
“It feels good. It was a wonderful experience for me to be part of,” Jimenez said. “It’s something that you only get your first daughter once. But it’s good to be back. Those three days took a long time.”
Jimenez has not pitched since July 8, but it’s possible he will make Thursday’s one-game, makeup start at Minnesota’s Target Field, where he has excelled in his career.
Jimenez, who is 5-9 with a 7.38 ERA this season for the Orioles, has been the subject of trade rumors – specifically a deal with the San Diego Padres that would have brought outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. to the Orioles. But Upton was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday.
Jimenez said he hasn’t been paying attention to the trade rumors – he’s had his hands full.
“I didn’t have a lot of time to be following that. I had my daughter, that was the No. 1 thing at the time,” he said. “Rumors are going to be rumored. If something is going to happen, you never know, you have to be ready for whenever. But I’m part of the team and I’m looking forward to being there.”
One other Orioles note: Pitching prospect Hunter Harvey had successful elbow ligament surgery on Tuesday in North Carolina. Showalter said the medical reports gave the organization hope that the 21-year-old will make a full recovery.