Steve Clevenger Disappointed with Baltimore Orioles Demotion


The difficulty in any sport is making a final roster decision. Managers would love to be able to keep that 26th guy on their roster. The rules make it impossible. They force decisions that make one person happy and another feel disappointment.

The Baltimore Orioles added slugging first baseman Chris Davis to their 25-man roster yesterday after finishing his 25-game suspension for testing positive for Adderall at the end of the 2014 season.

Davis began serving his suspension on Sept. 12 of last year after testing positive for the amphetamine. He sat out the final 17 games of the regular season and the Orioles’ seven postseason games.

To make room on the 25-man roster, the Orioles optioned Steve Clevenger to Triple-A Norfolk. The word is Clevenger is not happy about the demotion. His locker was cleaned out before the media could ask him about being sent to Norfolk.

He should have known that the writing was on the wall when the ball club purchased Ryan Lavarnway‘s contract and designated Ryan Webb for assignment on Monday. It also needs to be taken into account that Clevenger still had options remaining to prevent teams from claiming him through waivers. At this point, he is probably wishing he could go elsewhere.

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No one expected Caleb Joseph to be the fascinating story that he has become. He was on the verge of quitting baseball only to become the MLB leader in throwing out base runners. Joseph was 23-for-47 throwing out base stealers. His 40 percent rate was astonishing considering the league average was 27 percent. That’s where Clevenger struggled. He was just 3-for-20 against base stealers.

Last season, he won the backup catcher job, but did very little to impress in his stint in the Majors. The pride of Pigtown batted just .243 through his first 24 games with the Orioles, but more importantly, the team was just 8-10 in games that he called. After the Orioles traded for Nick Hundley, Clevenger was sent to the minors. He wasn’t happy about the move then either.

Eduardo Encina of The Baltimore Sun wrote a piece last month about Clevenger’s journey in the 2014. He admitted that the Orioles were not winning when he manned the backstop, and spoke about playing with a “chip on his shoulder” when he was sent to the minors.

"“I wasn’t very happy about being sent down. I thought I deserved to stay in the big leagues for what I did in spring training. I thought I deserved a better shot at staying with the team. I did go down with a chip on my shoulder, and I did tell myself I was going to prove these guys wrong. That’s how I took it all going down to Norfolk. I was really frustrated down there.”"

This openness of his frustration is not going to make anything any easier for him. We all can understand that he wants to play at the highest level. Sorry Steve, but the fact is you’re just not good enough defensively to be a constant player for the Orioles.

Baltimore always routes for it’s hometown prospects. The Mount Saint Joseph product is no different. He wants to help his hometown team. We get that. The fans want that if it is going to help the team.

Clevenger should realize that even after being sent down, he is still viewed as a solid option in this organization. He has made the Opening Day roster the past two seasons. Both Joseph and Matt Wieters can not make that same claim.

This is not the time for him to sulk. He is another injury away from being back in the Majors. Continue to work hard and get back to Baltimore. The fans will be there to give you that hometown ovation when you get back.

Next: Flaherty Proves His Value on Opening Day

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