Orioles release Wilkerson, six others; Mountcastle activated, McKenna optioned - BaltimoreBaseball.com


Orioles release Wilkerson, six others; Mountcastle activated, McKenna optioned

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

The Orioles on Tuesday released one of their most versatile players, utilityman Stevie Wilkerson, and six others a day after promoting a number of prospects.

Wilkerson, who made baseball history by becoming the first position player in Major League Baseball history to record a save on July 25, 2019 when he pitched a perfect 16th inning, was at Triple-A Norfolk.

In 163 games in three seasons, Wilkerson hit .210 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs while playing every position but first base and catcher. In 2019, Wilkerson started 58 games in center field, a position he hadn’t played before.

He missed the 2020 season because of a fractured left ring finger.

Wilkerson pitched in five games, four in 2019, and one this season. At Norfolk, Wilkerson hit .244 with two homers and seven RBIs in 36 games. In 30 games with the Orioles this season, Wilkerson hit .167 with two RBIs.

Wilkerson’s release coincided with the large number of minor league promotions that were announced on Monday.

The Orioles also released infielder Seth Mejias-Brean and left-hander Tyler Erwin, who were at Double-A Bowie; outfielder Craig Lewis and right-hander Dallas Litscher, from High-A Aberdeen; and outfielder Trevor Kehe and right-hander Jake Zebron, from Low-A Delmarva.

Mejias-Brean played 19 games for San Diego in 2019. Erwin was the Orioles’ 23rd-round pick in 2016. Lewis was the 33rd-round pick in 2019, and Litscher the 10th-round selection in 2018. Kehe was taken in the 36th round in 2019, and Zebron, a Federalsburg, Maryland native, was an 18th-round pick in 2018.

Mountcastle reinstated: The Orioles activated first baseman/designated hitter Ryan Mountcastle from the concussion injured list. He has been out since August 6th after being tagged in the head on an attempted steal of second. Outfielder Ryan McKenna has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB






  1. millboy

    August 17, 2021 at 10:26 am

    He definitely filled the role of utility player…every organization needs a few Stevie Wilkersons…might make a good coach some day

  2. ClayDal

    August 17, 2021 at 10:32 am

    Wilkerson was released last year also, I recall. He wound up back in the organization as a free agent. I suspect this time he will move on. By releasing him now it gives him a chance to enroll in a community college and learn introductory Korean. Which is most likely his next stop. He will do well in the KBO

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 17, 2021 at 10:42 am

      Last year he was released because he was on a minor league contract, John, with the understanding he could come back if he wished. He counted against the 60-player organizational limit, and they needed the spot.

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    August 17, 2021 at 11:23 am

    Bee nice Buzz.

    • Buzz1979

      August 17, 2021 at 3:21 pm

      He has no place else to go, already cleared waivers twice. He had more chances than Earl”s first wife!

  4. jimcarter

    August 17, 2021 at 11:28 am

    I never thought I’d live to see the day!

  5. Bman

    August 17, 2021 at 11:52 am

    Little surprised litscher did not make it higher. Thought he had some potential. Injury prob did not help. Too much competition now to keep up. Cleaning out some of the placeholders.

  6. Pip

    August 17, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    Sad news about Wilk ,I always liked him.
    Can you suggest a reason why McKenna was optioned instead of Stewart?
    McKenna is a valuable player on defense, and can play all three outfield positions, Stewart offers nothing, And has had a very long time to show what he can or cannot do.

    • ClayDal

      August 17, 2021 at 12:37 pm

      Santander and Hays are relatively healthy now, so McKenna isn’t needed as a late inning defensive replacement. Also DJ Stewart has one option left. If they send him down now, they won’t be able to send him down next year without exposing him to waivers. No need to waste an option when your 38-79. Save it for next year. McKenna has already had his option for this year, so this won’t affect him. Of course if Mancini is still gimpy in a few days, McKenna will probably be right back here

  7. willmiranda

    August 17, 2021 at 1:55 pm

    I don’t want to dump on anyone in particular, but when I read that the O’s are afraid of losing someone on waivers who is out of options because of repeated failures at the ML level –on the worst, or second worst team–, I fail to see the reason for fear. Just as I don’t see GM’s around the league kicking themselves for not picking up Fry or some facsimile before the trade deadline. I find cognitive dissonance between the views that we have “garbage” on the field but we don’t dare risk someone picking it up. I don’t say the same people hold both views simultaneously, but both seem widely represented.

    • jimcarter

      August 17, 2021 at 2:34 pm

      Very true!

    • Buzz1979

      August 17, 2021 at 3:23 pm

      I forgot, Boog, lets get the party started!

    • CalsPals

      August 17, 2021 at 3:31 pm

      Well said will…go O’s…

      • Buzz1979

        August 17, 2021 at 4:22 pm

        Career batting averages
        Flaherty .216
        Mendoza .216
        Wilkerson .210
        Coolbaugh .209

  8. BenSch

    August 17, 2021 at 3:02 pm

    Say what you want about Wilkerson, I’ll never forget that catch he made vs. Boston in the last game of the 2019 (?) season. (I also remember a play he blew in that game that cost us a run…)

  9. Orial

    August 17, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    2025 third base coach Stevie Wilkerson. That should be his next and only return to ML baseball.

    • dlgruber1

      August 17, 2021 at 4:01 pm

      Orial, I’m not sure if you’re being serious or not but I’ve stated in the past on this site that I believe a player like Stevie will be a very good coach someday. Just as Flaherty is getting his feet wet now it won’t surprise me at all to see Wilkerson coaching somewhere after he decides his career is complete. I’ll agree he was never gonna be an All Star but I’m of the belief that every team is better off with a guy like Stevie on it. I wish him all the best.

    • CalsPals

      August 17, 2021 at 4:03 pm

      Agree with both statements, think he’s be a great coach…go O’s…

  10. Buzz1979

    August 17, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    Career batting averages
    Flaherty .216
    Mendoza .216
    Wilkerson .210
    Coolbaugh .209

    • CalsPals

      August 17, 2021 at 7:49 pm

      Saw it the first time, at least they have career batting averages…go O’s…

  11. PC in OC

    August 17, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    Sorry to see Wilkerson go. I know we are in a rebuilding mode and a lot is not expected, but what is happening now, is Ridiculous. I’ve seen other teams go through a re- build, but I’ve never seen anything like this. This is not a rebuild, this is Sabotage. We are supposed to have some pretty decent players in the minors, I think it’s time to open up the gate. It’s not written in stone, that a player has to spend 3, 4, or 5 years in the minors, before he makes it to the Majors. I have an idea, what your feed back, is going to be, on this one. Losing can be contagious and that could be happening right now. I’ve seen some pretty bad decisions made by Hyde. For example, Pulling pitchers, when he shouldn’t, keeping pitchers in to long, when they don’t have it anymore, placing the wrong 9 players on the field ( it’s time to move forward ) You have this player, playing this position and the next , he is playing at another position. Good example, Hay’s plays one hell of a left field, what

  12. PC in OC

    August 17, 2021 at 5:01 pm

    Is he doing in right field. At the same time, I think the players should have a team meeting and be able to speak freely to their fan’s, after to he meeting and let us know, what they discussed. I’m pretty sure, we all know what will be brought out. I have more to say. But not now. Pissed, Yes, I’m pissed

    • CalsPals

      August 17, 2021 at 5:13 pm

      Just an opinion, but what goes on behind closed doors should stay there, as much as I’d like to be a fly on the wall, organizationally it’s not a good idea…go O’s…

  13. Al Nassar

    August 17, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    I honestly do not see why they don’t cut Steward loose. He is a defensive liability. He leaves a lot to be desired as an outfielder and we don’t need another outfielder. Trade him for a bag of balls after the season ends. He is not needed.

  14. Kjbsball

    August 17, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    Sad to see mejias brean go. He caught my eye at the Bowie game and lifetime .270 in minors isn’t garbage. I thought he was serviceable for organizational depth. Good luck to him –

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