The Baltimore Orioles will utilize their fifth starter on Saturday, and they need to make room on the 25-man roster.
Tomorrow, the Baltimore Orioles will need a fifth starter, marking the first time this season one will be used. David Hall, a reporter for the AAA affiliate Norfolk Tides, tweeted that Alec Asher was on his way to join the Orioles.
Alec Asher came to the Baltimore Orioles from the Philadelphia Phillies organization for a PTBNL or cash considerations. That deal occurred at the end of Spring Training. Asher, 25, finished the 2016 season with a 2-1 record, and a 2.28 ERA in five starts.
On April 10, Asher pitched 4.1 scoreless innings against the Gwinnett Braves. He struck out six and didn’t walk anybody over 74 pitches (47 strikes).
As soon as the trade finalized, it wasn’t clear how Asher’s presence would improve the Orioles. Initially, Roch Kubatko suggested he may join the AAA Norfolk Tides rotation or be used as a multiple-inning reliever.
Asher will get the start, but who gets removed from the 25-man roster?
We’re back to this again. Another roster move will occur to make room for Asher, but who is the most likely candidate this time?
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Joey Rickard is on the 10-day disabled list, eligible to return on Tuesday, and Trey Mancini is hitting the ball well. Tyler Wilson is the only true long-relief pitcher in the bullpen, but only has one option remaining.
The Orioles overworked bullpen has pitched 27 innings and has been needing a break. Stefan Crichton, recalled yesterday from AAA Norfolk, didn’t get into the game last night, but is available for use tonight if needed. A fresh arm, Crichton does have all three options remaining but may find himself soon if the starters continue to not go deep in games.
I don’t expect any of those players to go anywhere. However, there’s one that immediately jumps to my mind, and it’s Craig Gentry.
Craig Gentry is the most reasonable choice.
Coming into the season, Craig Gentry did not have any options remaining, so manager Buck Showalter did everything in his power to bring the nine-year veteran North. It helped that Gentry hit .321 in the spring, with a pair of home runs.
It also helped that Gentry has a career .345 on-base percentage against left-handed pitching, an area where the Orioles struggle mightily. However, Gentry’s 0-for-12 start to the season may determine whether or not the Orioles designate him for assignment.
The platoon idea in left field between Hyun Soo Kim and Gentry has not worked out as planned, and Mancini has begun to see action in left. It’s probable that he isn’t going anywhere.
There doesn’t seem to be any room at the moment for Gentry, and although he brings speed to the outfield if you can’t hit you might not have a place on the team.
The Orioles have done a good job juggling their roster around in the season’s first two weeks. Don’t forget, there will need to be another roster move when Chris Tillman is eligible to come off the DL.
Let’s wait a few weeks before we speculate who that’s going to be, shall we?