With Wei-Yin Chen coming back from the minors to make tonight’s start vs. Cleveland, the Baltimore Orioles find themselves in another roster crunch. The bullpen is currently staffed at seven men, which means effectively that someone’s going to have to come off the 25-man roster – potentially via being designated for assignment. The Orioles are going to avoid doing that at all costs given that they would risk losing someone – in this scenario, could it be Steve Pearce?
While he was in the lineup yesterday, Pearce has been used sparingly of late. With the likes of Chris Parmelee and Jimmy
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Paredes hitting well, Pearce’s .219 average has been relegated to the bench of late. However the fact is that there’s no good option in this case. The Orioles almost lost Pearce once last year when they DFA’d him, only to bring him back through a loophole in the rules – and keeping him off of division rival Toronto’s roster.
However odds are that those types of loopholes won’t be usable in this scenario. There’s a very real possibility that a member of the Orioles might be playing in another city come this time next week. However that’s the risk you run when you take on veteran players without options. Some have pointed to the fact that Adam Jones could be sent to the DL perhaps. However he’s expected to return to the lineup tonight, and was pushing to play yesterday.
This is all part of the game, and unfortunately these things do happen. I’m not saying that Pearce is definitely going to be the odd man out. In fact, it would probably cost the Orioles less to DFA Nolan Reimold given the fact that he’s on a minor league deal. But time will tell who goes at the end of the day.
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Incidentally, the O’s will have another similar decision in the near future when they bring Jonathan Schoop off the DL. Barring someone else getting hurt and heading to the DL, there’s a very real chance that a player might find himself DFA’d or optioned out. Several fans have suggested that Ryan Flaherty has options, which is true. But do the Orioles really want to lose their backup second baseman/utility infielder?
Again, time will tell. These things have a way of working themselves out. However needless to say, Buck Showalter is probably going to be down a very good player in the very near future.