Will Ryan Mountcastle be among Orioles' September additions? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Will Ryan Mountcastle be among Orioles’ September additions?

Ryan Mountcastle
Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE—In eight days, the Orioles and the other major league teams can expand their rosters from 25 to 40. Manager Brandon Hyde has said he’s not in favor of gross roster expansion, so don’t expect the Orioles to add the full 15 players.

This is the final season teams will be able to add large numbers of players on September 1. Next year, teams will carry 26 players from Opening Day until August 31, then be allowed to add two players for the final weeks of the season.

Some of the additions to the Orioles’ roster are easy. They optioned Dwight Smith Jr. to Triple-A Norfolk on Thursday. Smith was rehabbing a left calf injury with the Tides, and he’s eligible for recall in 10 days, which works out to September 1.

Mark Trumbo, who’s scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with the Tides on Tuesday, will be activated when the rosters expand, if he feels his right knee is stable. Trumbo is on the 60-day injured list, and room will have to be made on the 40-man roster for him.

Shawn Armstrong, who’s on the 10-day injured list with a strained right forearm, says the injury is minor and expects to begin throwing early next week. He’s eligible to return on September 1.

Ty Blach, who was optioned to Norfolk after Friday night’s game, will return, Hyde said on Saturday. With off days before and after the series with the Washington Nationals that begins Tuesday, the Orioles won’t need a fifth starter until September 3, when Blach is eligible to return.

The Orioles will add a third catcher, and Austin Wynns, who’s on the 40-man roster, is the likely choice.

Assuming Armstrong, Blach Smith, Trumbo and Wynns are added, that would make 30 players, and the Orioles will probably add a handful of others.

Hyde would like an additional bullpen arm or two. There are a number of pitchers at Norfolk: Tom Eshelman, David Hess, Branden Kline, Evan Phillips, Tanner Scott and Tayler Scott, who’ve all pitched for the Orioles in recent weeks, and are on the 40-man roster Expect another arm or two from that list.

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If the Orioles wanted to add left-hander Keegan Akin, who’ll be included on the 40-man roster this winter, they’d have to find room there now.

The most interesting potential adds come from position players. Outfielder Austin Hays has missed time with injuries this season, and the Orioles would like to see more of him. He’s batting .250 with nine home runs and 24 RBIs in 49 games with Norfolk.

The Orioles don’t have a true centerfielder, and they’d like to see how well Hays plays center.

Cedric Mullins, who began the season in center field, had an awful month, hitting .094 (6-for-64), then was demoted to Norfolk, where he hit just .205, and to Double-A Bowie.

Mullins has .259 for the Baysox but has stolen 17 bases in 18 attempts, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him added as a pinch-runner since he remains on the 40-man roster.

There are no minor league infielders on the 40-man roster, so if the Orioles wanted to add Christopher Bostick, who’s played creditably for Norfolk, they must find space for him on the 40.

The most intriguing possibility is Ryan Mountcastle, who’s played 18 games in left field after playing first base for Norfolk. The power prospect, who isn’t on the 40-man roster and must be placed there before the Winter Meetings, is hitting .311 with 24 homers and 77 RBIs, but has walked just 21 times.

Mountcastle’s on-base percentage is .343, but he’s slugging a robust .528 for an .871 OPS.

Hyde’s proclamation that playing time for Chris Davis would be reduced in September increased speculation that Mountcastle would be summoned next month.

Eades gets a call: The Orioles recalled right-hander Ryan Eades from Norfolk to replace Blach on the roster.

Eades was claimed off waivers from Minnesota on August 14. He pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings for the Twins earlier this year, and pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings for Norfolk.

“It was a little bit of a surprise,” Eades said of the move. “Things happen quick in baseball. The manager called me in and told me what was going on, that I was going to be joining the Orioles. I talked to those guys and everyone in Norfolk and then got an opportunity to come here. I’m happy to be here and I’m going to try to help the team anyway I can.”

Eades would be the 55th player and 38th pitcher used by the Orioles. A franchise-record 56 players were used  in 2018.

The Orioles have 12 pitchers and four bench players. With two games at Nationals Park next week and no designated hitter, Hyde will have a five-man bench, if no changes are made to the roster’s composition.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. mcgooding

    August 24, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    Rich, I’m off topic once again. I’ve been following Jones, Schoop, Machado, and Gausman this season. I like the twinkies. They seem to be high on Luis Arrarez. He has good numbers, but seems to be a light hitting second baseman. His average seems to be coming down in recent weeks as well. Do you see Schoop getting more playing time come the playoffs, He seems to be an obvious choice.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 24, 2019 at 9:24 pm

      Mcgooding, I haven’t been following the Twins much because the Orioles were finished wiht them in late April. I have long been an admirer of Jonathan’s, but last season when he was traded to Milwaukee, he batted eight times in the postseason and was hitless. If they hold off Cleveland, he’ll get a chance, but for his sake, you should hope there’s not a wild-card game.

  2. PC in OC

    August 24, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    Rich: Can you please, explain something to me. I’m not quite sure, if I understand, what is going on, between the Orioles & the Nationals, when it comes to this Masn Rights dispute. Didn’t both clubs sign an agreement years ago. And if that’s the case, who is not honoring what!!

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 24, 2019 at 9:36 pm

      PC, both sides signed a contract, but when it was signed, no one envisioned that rights fees for sports on cable would explode like they have. It is an extremely complicated issue that I’m oversimplifying, but yes you’re correct.

  3. Bhoffman1

    August 25, 2019 at 8:32 am

    No call up for Mason Williams. Why the heck did they sign him just for a fill in body

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 25, 2019 at 11:07 am

      Many minor leaguers are just that, Bruce. Not all are prospects.

    • Bhoffman1

      August 25, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      Don’t get Stevie Wilkerson and Jace Peterson are not prospects or even outfielders and they get to called up and both hitting 220. Here’s a guy who hit in the majors, same age and you don’t think he will get a opportunity

  4. CalsPals

    August 25, 2019 at 8:39 am

    I don’t see them bringing up Mountcastle because of the time control, although I think they should…go O’s…

  5. SpinMaster

    August 25, 2019 at 10:44 am

    Rich: Is the 40 man roster completely full? If so, then who would get jettisoned from that roster to make room for Trumbo? Seems stupid to let someone with a future go, just to make room for a guy who will not be here next season.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 25, 2019 at 11:08 am

      The 40-man roster is full, though there are some players who could probably get through waivers if designated for assignment.

  6. Bancells Moustache

    August 25, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Count me among the critics of Mountcastle. Call me old fashioned, but I’ve always believed if you can’t field your position at the big league level, you ain’t no big leaguer. Plenty of slow pitch tournaments in Glen Burnie to go knock the cover off the ball then sit and drink Gatorade in. A rebuilding team needs complete, foundational guys, then once you are good you go buy a Nelson Cruz, or a JD Martinez or a Mark Trumbo for a couple years.

    • Bhoffman1

      August 25, 2019 at 3:25 pm

      Ridiculous statement and who says he playing a bad left field now

    • Borg

      August 25, 2019 at 6:36 pm

      You mean like Peterson in left and Wilkerson anywhere in the outfield? They are horrible and they have been up all year, for no discernible reason that I can see. They make Joey Richard look like Babe Ruth. It’s been pretty established that offensive performance outweighs any defensive concerns by far. A player who is in the lineup gets up at least four times a game, and often five. Most of the players other than the first baseman and catcher don’t get five chance per game to influence anything. Regarding fielding as the more important skill set definitely makes you not only old fashioned, but totally out of touch with the reality of modern baseball.

    • Bhoffman1

      August 25, 2019 at 8:41 pm

      Exactly they are horrible defensively and also don’t hit much. Williams hit a homer and a triple tonight and has been hitting all year. He’s a legitimate CF and 28 but Elias and Rich believe that’s since he’s not a quote prospect let him rot in the minors.

  7. Orioles fan 4weaver

    August 25, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    Rich outstanding summary full of info. Thanks for keeping us up to date.

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