The Baltimore Orioles made a surprise move and demoted Ryan Flaherty to triple-A Norfolk yesterday.
I was stunned yesterday when I heard that the Baltimore Orioles were sending Ryan Flaherty to triple-A Norfolk. I have no reason to believe that this is going to be something that’s permanent, however needless to say as of right now he’s a Norfolk Tide. And the fact is that he’ll be an asset to that roster.
Flaherty of course was obtained in the 2011-12 Rule 5 draft from the Cubs. While he’s been a utility player ever since, he was an instant fan favorite. He’s only the first in a line of Rule 5 picks that the Orioles have managed to keep and who have produced.
Obviously once a player has been on the roster for six months (basically an entire season), he’s officially the property of that team. So unfortunately for Flaherty, this may have boiled down to the fact that he had options available. These decisions sometimes aren’t fair or popular, but the team has to do what serves it’s needs best.
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The Orioles currently have an eight-man bullpen, so I suspect that at some point one of the relievers will have to go back down at which point Flaherty will have the chance to return. He’s not a superstar, nor will he ever be. However he’s a hard worker and there’s no question that he deserves to be in the big leagues. That opportunity will arise for him again, hopefully in the not-to-distant future.
One big concern coming out of last night’s game was center fielder Adam Jones, who appeared to be suffering from discomfort again after an at-bat in the ninth inning. Jones took a big cut at a pitch, and didn’t look comfortable for the rest of the at-bat. MASN cameras caught him talking to the medical staff in the dugout following the at-bat as well.
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Ideally you’d like for Jones to be fine and not miss any time at all. But if he does have to miss more than a few games, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him sent to the DL. The O’s need to ensure that every roster spot is utilized to the best of it’s ability.
Incidentally, if Jones had to go to the DL, it would also give the O’s a chance to bring Flaherty back right away. Players have to stay in the minors for ten days or more after being sent down. The exception to that is if there’s a situation involving an injury.