BALTIMORE—For the first time this season, the Orioles have completed a week without making a roster move. In 2019, the Orioles have used 39 players. In a four-day period from April 28-May 1, 11 players were taken off or put on the 25-man roster.
Ever since outfielder Anthony Santander was added as the 26th man for the second game of a May 1 doubleheader in Chicago, there has been no roster movement. He went back to Norfolk after the game.
The Orioles have three players — pitchers Richard Bleier, Alex Cobb and Nate Karns — on the 10-day injured list. Designated hitter/outfielder Mark Trumbo is on the 60-day IL.
None is expected back soon, although Bleier was scheduled for his second rehab assignment, at Double-A Bowie. But he is expected to need more outings, including back-to-back appearances, before rejoining the team.
Bleier, who is rehabbing his left shoulder because of tendonitis, will also pitch for Triple-A Norfolk.
Cobb, who’s on the IL for the third time because of a back injury, has gone to Sarasota to rehab and won’t return anytime soon.
Karns, who was in the Orioles’ clubhouse on Friday, had his rehab assignment for a strained right forearm halted last week and isn’t close to beginning another rehab stint yet.
While Trumbo is eligible to be activated from the 60-day IL in two weeks, he hasn’t resumed baseball activities. Trumbo had surgery on his right knee last September. He did play during spring training but appeared to be rushing his recovery. For now, he’s still rehabbing in Sarasota.
Another reason for roster stability is that Oriole starters have pitched at least six innings in three of the last five games. In one of the other starts, Yefry Ramirez was the only reliever used, pitching 4 2/3 innings, the longest stint for a reliever.
The Orioles are beginning a string of 20 scheduled games in as many days, and manager Brandon Hyde doesn’t have any plans to change his rotation during that stretch.
“We’ll see how it goes,” Hyde said. “Play it by ear. We’re hoping that our starters did what [Andrew Cashner] did the other night,” Hyde said. “Give us some length. It’s wait and see right now.”
Shifty defense: The Orioles continue to use the infield shift often, and Hyde likes the results.
“I think we’ve done a really good job on the infield,” Hyde said. “We’ve played really good defense, and we’ve been in the right spot. Our guys have bought into [it.]”
Hyde said he hasn’t encountered resistance.
“There are some really good teams doing it, positioning well,” Hyde said. “I think it was more veteran starters pushing back because they pitched in the era teams played straight up and they’re used to that. I was with some veteran starters [with the Chicago Cubs where] that was the case. They come around when they see the importance of it. They see runs being saved for them.”
Knight promotion: Blaine Knight, who had a 3-0 record with an 0.68 ERA in five starts for Low-A Delmarva, was promoted to High-A Frederick on Friday.
Knight is scheduled to start for the Keys against Fayetteville tonight.
In those five starts for the Shorebirds, Knight struck out 33 and walked four in 26 2/3 innings.
Knight was a second-round pick of the Orioles in last June’s draft.