Orioles to option Lakins to Norfolk; Sulser, Tate make Opening Day roster - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Spring Training

Orioles to option Lakins to Norfolk; Sulser, Tate make Opening Day roster

The Orioles continued to finalize their Opening Day roster, which doesn’t have to be submitted until Thursday morning.

Manager Brandon Hyde said that right-handed pitcher Travis Lakins will be optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, and that right-handers Cole Sulser and Dillon Tate would be on the 26-man roster for Thursday’s opener in Boston at Fenway Park.

Lakins had an 8.59 ERA in six games this spring. The move was necessary after the Orioles chose to keep Rule 5 right-handers Mac Sceroler and Tyler Wells.

“Travis had an up-and-down spring training,” Hyde said. “I thought he did a nice job for us last year. I think our pitching is going to be in flux all year, and we’re going to need as many arms as possible, and Travis is going to go down to Triple-A.”

In 2020, Lakins was 3-2 with a 2.81 ERA in 22 games.

“It doesn’t mean he’s not going to be with us soon [or] not be with us for the rest of the year,” Hyde said. “He’s not going to be on the roster to start the season, but I would expect him to be with us really son.”

Hyde also said that it was “more than likely” that outfielder DJ Stewart, who hurt his right hamstring, would begin the season on the 10-day injured list.

Third baseman Maikel Franco, who signed a one-year contract on March 20th, and outfielder Anthony Santander, who has been hampered by an oblique injury, were both set to be on the roster.

There will likely be another move involving a pitcher when the roster is finalized Thursday morning.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. BrooksPJs

    March 31, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    Okay, that’s a weird looking St. Patrick’s Day hat there on Lakins. I had to look it up…

    I predict the Orioles OD five starters will have an ERA between 5.50 and 6.00 as of April 30th.

    I read the current O/U win total for the O’s is 64.5. I was hoping they would win around 75 this season, but now sadly think under 64.5 is more probably/realistic.

    • BarstoolSleeper

      March 31, 2021 at 2:29 pm

      Couldn’t agree with you more BPJ. The starters ERAs are going to be chunky to say the least. I’m hoping they’ll surprise me but the division they’re in is always unforgiving.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      March 31, 2021 at 4:52 pm

      PJs … I was predicting 75-80 wins mid-winter…..I’d be happy with 70 now, and I too believe the 64.5 is more likely. So why is this? Why have the expectations gone down? How in the wide-wide world of sports could such an awful team have regressed? The pitching seems to be spiraling downward, and the infield has gone from not really good, to complete garbage even though Trey is coming back!

      Who’s running this show anyway?

      • Rich Dubroff

        March 31, 2021 at 5:57 pm

        Ken, expectations from publications that closely follow baseball have always been low for this year’s team. I think your expectations were just unduly high.

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          March 31, 2021 at 6:03 pm

          Rich …. I was trying to be a kinder gentler more optimistic commenter. 🙂

          I thought the lineup was coming around … but the way this infield was put together this year really disappoints me.

          The pitching? Who knows. Probably CAN’T be as bad as it looks. Should’ve kept Cobb …. grrrrrrrrrrr.

      • BrooksPJs

        March 31, 2021 at 6:34 pm

        BRR – I too am mainly worried about the pitching and even more focused on the starters. With Harvey and Lopez having the best spring stats out of the O’s esteemed starting five, that has me worried it’s going to be a long year and the O’s winning % will regress – as opposed to the increase from 2018 to 2020 (0.290 to 0.333 to 0.417).

        Offensively I think the O’s will be average to slightly above average, like they were in 2020. Hays and Mountcastle have me optimistic!

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          March 31, 2021 at 8:08 pm

          Ditto that Pajamaman

  2. Birdman

    March 31, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    Where does this leave Cesar Valdez? He was great in 2020, and also spring training this year.

    • BrooksPJs

      March 31, 2021 at 2:34 pm

      I believe I read somewhere that Valdez made the team and will be in role similar to LeBlanc – starting as a long reliever; though it seems Valdez is a Swiss Army Knife of pitchers in that he can start, be a long reliever, or even close. Heard he was a good guy, helping out the youngsters frequently.

    • Rich Dubroff

      March 31, 2021 at 5:54 pm

      Valdez is on the club.

  3. BrooksPJs

    March 31, 2021 at 2:36 pm

    2:10PM 4/1/2021 cannot get here soon enough IMO! Will be great to see the Orioles, especially Trey Mancini after overcoming cancer, back out there on field in front of some fans no less. Win or lose, it’s gonna be a special moment. Go Orioles! Go Trey! Go Means! And, of course, a very special Go Severino!!!

  4. Chuck in Edgewood

    March 31, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    Ok. I must have been taking out the trash and missed it but what happened to our other winningest pitcher from last year, Thomas Eshelman?? I didn’t see him hardly pitch at all this Spring Training. Is hurt? Released?

    • BrooksPJs

      March 31, 2021 at 4:24 pm

      Looks like he will be assigned to Norfolk. He’s not on the O’s 40 man roster and has two options left.

    • Icterus fan

      March 31, 2021 at 4:49 pm

      Watching (and rewatching) one of the two O’s spring training games broadcast on TV, I can say I have some confidence with Paul Fry. Seems to have some intensity on the mound and ball has some movement. Speaking of movement, I hope Cole Sulser has developed a wrinkle in that nice straight fastball. Didn’t realize he was 31; thought he was younger than that.
      And way to go Dillon Tate. Hoping for good things from him, too.
      Did Tanner Scott make the team? Beast!
      Good arms, all of them. We’re gonna need a very good bullpen.
      I’m really looking forward to tomorrow!
      Go Os (Hon)

    • Rich Dubroff

      March 31, 2021 at 5:56 pm

      Eshelman came to camp on a minor league contract, and he’ll go to Norfolk to start the season. Yes, it was strange that he started the first game of the spring schedule, and then didn’t pitch again, Chuck. He did pitch in intrasquad games that didn’t count. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him during the season.

  5. Shamus

    March 31, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    I’m thinking 70-75 wins. Counting on next year to be the year of relevancy. That’s when we’ll see what Mr Elias is about. As for this year everybody look on the bright side. Right now we are tied for first place!!! Good luck Os

  6. Phil770

    March 31, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    Pretty sad that 2B is now viewed like 1B…anybody can do it. We can make a case that defense has gone down at 3B, SS and 2B from 2020 to 2021. That doesn’t seem possible, especially for where the O’s were in 2020. With the catching defense seemingly regressed with neither Severino nor Sisco appearing to be major league caliber. We have managed to go from adequate to less than adequate on defense. Weather tomorrow in Boston is iffy, might spare the O’s a loss. I have given Elias the benefit of the doubt at every move, this infield situation is unacceptable and it is his doing. The BS explanation makes it worse.

    • BrooksPJs

      March 31, 2021 at 7:03 pm

      “…this infield situation is unacceptable…” Oh my! It’s a game sir!

      Now onto the stat check:

      3B Defensive Rating by FanGraphs for 2020:
      O’s rated 25th, Royals rated 12th (Franco played 51 games at 3B for the Royals in 2020)

      SS Defensive Rating by FanGraphs for 2020:
      O’s rated 25th, Reds rated 15th (Glavis played 33 games at SS for the Reds in 2020)

      2B Defensive Rating by FanGraphs for 2020:
      O’s rated 24th, not much room to get worse, please, I beg of you, believe in the awesome 2B duo that is Valaika and Urias – especially the much underrated, underappreciated, and frankly unloved Ramon Urias

      C Defensive Rating by FanGraphs for 2020:
      O’s rated 30th, correct assessment there! But that was, alas, all on Sisco as Severino and Holaday graded just barely above average defensively

      • Phil770

        March 31, 2021 at 7:29 pm

        Brooks, I like your stats. But note that Iglesias played SS in Cincinnati, while Galvis played 2B while he was there. Point being that Iglesias is the better SS, and Galvis was not asked back. Franco was not asked back to KC. Not having an MLB 2B makes the IF situation unacceptable. I’ve got eyes, Rio should not be in this IF. Franco is a replacement for Nunez, and if he hits, he will be better than Nunez – he at least can play a position in the field. I think you are overrating Urias, but I would like to be wrong… we’ll see. The underlying point is that Elias did not improve the IF for 2021 season. Rather than experiment with Ruiz at 2B, send him to Bowie to learn the position; I would rather have Sisco as an experiment, as you noted (and I have noted often on this site), he is not a MLB catcher.

  7. Bman

    March 31, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    Let’s go Os! I think they will actually overperform this year with guys like Mancini, Mountcastle, Hays, Santander in the lineup on a daily basis. Their pitching will be competitive enough. But I still think they’re in rebuild mode and will jettison a bunch of veterans at the trade deadline. Next year will be when the rubber meets the road sorta speak. I imagine we’ll see Baumann, Lowther, Wells, Diaz, Bannon, Jones, Nevin, McCoy, McKenna all make appearances this season.

  8. Boog Robinson Robinson

    March 31, 2021 at 8:07 pm


    March 31 ….. 2016 I believe it was.


  9. dlgruber1

    March 31, 2021 at 9:23 pm

    Just read this from Jim Callas of MLB.com and MLB Pipeline.com:

    “He’s got the best catching tools that I’ve seen in a prospect in 30 years of covering this stuff. He has better all-around tools than Joe Mauer, who is more athletic, but didn’t have anywhere close to Rutschman’s power coming out of the draft. And he had more impact with his bat and he’s more polished defensively than Buster Posey was.”

    High praise indeed.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      March 31, 2021 at 9:54 pm

      But he’s not ready. Needs more time in the minors. Balderdash.

    • CalsPals

      April 1, 2021 at 6:29 am

      :)…go Rutschman & go O’s…

    • Bhoffman1

      April 1, 2021 at 8:42 am

      Hes not ready because Elias doesn’t care about winning this year. I’m still waiting for the year he cares about it if I’m still around. He without his minor league experience lol is 99 per cent better then Severino and the guy who forgot how to hit Sisco who I was wrong about. Some things of note I rather see McCoy on this team as a utility guy over Urias. Who will be sent down in 10 days when DJ is ready. I hope to see Diaz by June if he performs well in Norfolk. I hope to see Lowther and Bauman and Akins here by July. I hope Jones performs so he is at second soon. I hope Stevie nice guy is not on this team period that’s a step back . Plus I hope poor Chris strained back let’s him stay in beautiful Sarasota while his teammates are freezing in the northeast in April and he can enjoy the life of a privilege

  10. WorldlyView

    April 1, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    All of the negativity and cries of anguish that have come to dominate the comments section demonstrates just how shallow is my fellow commentators’ knowledge of baseball. The pessimists can’t appreciate the underlying forces for the near certainty that the O’s will click and win at least 90 games. Furthermore, April Fool ! They are going to be terrible this year. They are a couple of injuries or sore arms away from losing 125 games. The sad truth is that ownership and management have written off this season and are concentrating on their anticipation of a team rebirth circa 2023. Regrettably, the transcendent priority of minimizing salaries at the cost of a really subpar 2021 team went too far and is a slap in the face of O’s fans, no matter how much one wants to talk about long-term rebuilding strategy. Once opposing batters figure out the tendencies and many weaknesses of our pitchers, the team ERA will likely be well north of 6.00. As for the recent jettison of the gold glove second second baseman, arguably it’s no big deal. Somebody on this site a couple of weeks ago had the right perspective. They said that middle of the infield defensive skills this year were not so important since our shaky pitching staff will be surrendering so many hard-hit fly balls. Perhaps the priority should have been on fleet-footed, high-jumping outfielders. Before I am written off as overly cynical, let me point out some very positive signs that the higher-ups are serious about the long-term talent rebuild strategy. They include the new D.R. “Academy,” the expanded scouting staff, and the hiring of four coaches for all of our minor league teams, a number that matches MLB teams not all that long ago. In addition to hitting and pitching, there are “development” and “fundamentals” coaches–positions I have never heard of. Delmarva even has a strength & conditioning coach. They are spending money, just not for this year.

    • Icterus fan

      April 1, 2021 at 7:04 pm

      It’s not “overly cynical” to bring up valid, and objective points such as these. I’d rather have a reasoned assessment than Pollyanna post game talking points.
      What mind blowing free agent would want to sign here and languish, even if being overpaid? Once we see some hope on the horizon, we’ll start to get a bit of respect, like the Rays, and maybe garner some attention from free agents. Until then, we have to continue to build this foundation. I like the build from within approach.
      Let’s assess the season as it is- a dress rehearsal for next year. Winning 60 games would be great. Winning 70-80 may be miraculous.
      I like the DR Academy, and think it’s a strategic move in the right direction, signaling a serious commitment from ownership.

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