The Orioles’ 30-man roster for Friday night’s opener at Boston includes some players who might not have been expected to make the team when the club began summer training at Camden Yards on July 3rd.
Right-handed pitcher David Hess, who has a 4-20 record, a 5.84 ERA and struggled against the Nationals in an exhibition game this week, is one of 16 pitchers. Hess, who had been sent to Triple-A Norfolk after spring training was halted on March 12 because of Covid-19, was among the 44 players asked to report to Baltimore as part of the 60-player pool.
Another surprise was right-hander Evan Phillips, who wouldn’t have made the team in March because of elbow issues. Phillips wasn’t among the original 44, but was the next addition.
Other notable additions are right-handers Cody Carroll, who missed nearly all of last season after back surgery, and three newcomers — Travis Lakins, Kohl Stewart and Cole Sulser. Left-hander Tanner Scott makes his first Opening Day roster.
Three pitchers will begin the season on the 10-day injured list — right-hander Hunter Harvey (elbow), left-hander John Means (arm fatigue) and right-hander Dillon Tate (elbow) ; those moves are retroactive to July 20th.
The Orioles optioned catcher Austin Wynns to the Bowie alternate site and will start the season with two catchers, Pedro Severino and Chance Sisco.
Among the other 12 position players are two players new to the organization, infielders Pat Valaika and Andrew Velazquez. Valaika’s contract was selected, and he fills the 40-man roster.
The Orioles activated Dwight Smith Jr. from the injured list. Smith didn’t appear in any of the workouts open to the media or the three exhibition games. He wasn’t cleared to participate until July 17 after a positive test for Covid-19.
Anthony Santander, who also had a late start because of a positive test for the virus, made the 30-man roster after looking sharp at the plate. Austin Hays and DJ Stewart also are on the Orioles’ Opening Day roster for the first time. Cedric Mullins, who was the Orioles’ starting centerfielder when the 2019 season began, makes the club as an additional outfielder.
According to an industry source, the Orioles’ initial three-man taxi squad includes catcher Bryan Holaday, infielder/outfielder Dilson Herrera and right-handed pitcher Thomas Eshelman. Herrera and Holaday’s inclusion was first reported by MASNsports.com.
Teams will use the taxi squad only for road games.
Right-hander Cesar Valdez, left-hander Rob Zastryzny, infielder/outfielder Ryan Mountcastle and outfielder Mason Williams did not make the 30-man roster and will report to Bowie.
Left-hander Ty Blach (Tommy John surgery) and infielder/outfielder Stevie Wilkerson (broken finger) were not on the 40-man roster and don’t have to be placed on the injured list. Infielder Richie Martin (broken wrist) and outfielder Trey Mancini (recovering from surgery for colon cancer) are on the 60-day injured list.
The Orioles will carry 30 players until August 6th and 28 players through August 20th. After that, they’ll be allowed to carry 26 through the end of the 60-game season.