O's finalize Opening Day roster - return Tavarez to Boston; here's why - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Dan Connolly

O’s finalize Opening Day roster — return Tavarez to Boston; here’s why

Photo credit: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

The Orioles have finalized their 25-man roster – and there aren’t really any surprises.

But one disappointment, I’d imagine, for the organization.

Outfielder Aneury Tavarez, a 24-year-old speedster who did everything he was asked of this spring, failed to make the club and was returned to the Boston Red Sox.

As a Rule 5 pick this December, Tavarez had to remain on the Orioles’ 25-man roster all year or be sent back to this original organization – the Red Sox – if he passed through waivers.

The left-handed-hitting Tavarez was caught in a roster crunch when right-handers Joey Rickard and Craig Gentry had excellent springs.

Gentry, 33, was a non-roster invitee to camp, but the eight-year, big-league veteran showed he was healthy this March. He was also added to the 40-man roster, taking over Tavarez’s spot.

An argument can be made that the Orioles should have gone with upside over experience and kept Tavarez, but because Gentry and Rickard hit from the right side, they provide platoon opportunities with left-handed hitting outfielders Hyun Soo Kim and Seth Smith.

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Also, Tavarez was still learning the outfield while spending much of his pro career as an infielder. Gentry and Rickard are more accomplished defensive outfielders.

As for the rest of the roster, it shakes out as expected.

Reliever Oliver Drake, who was out of minor league options, and Trey Mancini, a first baseman who makes the team as an outfielder/designated hitter, escaped the bubble and were added to the Opening Day roster.

Pitchers Jayson Aquino and Gabriel Ynoa were sent to Triple-A Norfolk, but one could be back fairly soon. The club needs a fifth starter April 15.

They also need a fourth starter April 9 – and right now the Orioles have just three starting pitchers and eight relievers on the 25-man roster.

However, lefty Wade Miley (illness), who was placed on the 10-day disabled list Sunday, is expected back for that April 9 start.

Also placed on the DL were Chris Tillman, who is expected to miss all of April with a shoulder injury, and Rule 5 outfielder Anthony Santander (elbow), who can stay with the organization while on the DL.

In other news, the Orioles moved outfielder Dariel Alvarez from Triple-A Norfolk to Low-A Delmarva, where he’ll work as a pitcher; and they moved Jason Garcia from Norfolk to Double-A Bowie.

Here is the Orioles’ 25-man, Opening Day roster:

Catchers (2): Welington Castillo, Caleb Joseph.

Infielders: (5): Chris Davis, Ryan Flaherty, J.J. Hardy, Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop.

Outfielders (7 + 1 DL): Craig Gentry, Adam Jones, Hyun Soo Kim, Trey Mancini, Joey Rickard, Anthony Santander*, Seth Smith, Mark Trumbo.

Pitchers (11 + 2 DL): Brad Brach, Zach Britton, Dylan Bundy, Oliver Drake, Kevin Gausman, Mychal Givens, Donnie Hart, Ubaldo Jimenez, Wade Miley*, Vidal Nuno, Darren O’Day, Chris Tillman*, Tyler Wilson.

*– Will begin season on 10-day disabled list.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Wade Warren

    April 2, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    sounds like a winning team do you see a trade with Boston coming?

    • Dan Connolly

      April 2, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      No. They tried. Sides couldn’t come to an agreement.

  2. ubetonit

    April 2, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Tavarez is 24. Gentry is 33. Seth Smith is 34. Gentry missed much of last yr b/c of injuries. Smith missed most of spring training b/c of an injured hamstring. Smith’s best yrs were in Colorado 6 yrs ago a ballpark that distorts offensive stats. Last yr is probably an outlier at the age of 33.

    “Also, Tavarez was still learning the outfield while spending much of his pro career as an infielder.” That might be Oriole propaganda. He started 92 gms in RF in 2013 at Greenville in the Sally League. 79 gms in RF at Salem in 2014.

    I wish that they had made a RF platoon of Tavarez/Gentry & worked out a trade for Smith.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 2, 2017 at 9:36 pm

      I may have stated it a little strongly. But I was told by several that the defense was ok but not particularly smooth.

  3. ubetonit

    April 2, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    When you look at http://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=tavare000ane you see almost exclusively OF experience after his rookie yr in 2011. He played 1 gm at 3b in 2014.

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