In 2020’s shortened 60-game season Pat Valaika was a valuable member of the Orioles. With Trey Mancini out because of color cancer and injuries to shortstop José Iglesias, Valaika was called on to fill in at each of the four infield positions. He hit .277 in 52 games with eight home runs and 16 RBIs.
This year, it’s been a different story. Valaika has hit just .192 with four home runs and 21 RBIs. On Thursday, the Orioles designated the 28-year-old for assignment after they claimed infielder/outfielder Jorge Mateo on waivers from San Diego.
Mateo, a 26-year-old right-handed hitter, hit .207 with two home runs and six RBIs in 57 games with the Padres.
He has played all three outfield positions, and second base, shortstop and third. He hasn’t committed an error in 56 chances in 43 games in 2020 and 2021.