The Baltimore Orioles continue to add minor-league depth, signing outfielder Craig Gentry to a minor-league contract with an invite to Spring Training.
With a roster that’s still in need of being filled, the latest Baltimore Orioles minor-league signing provides them with another right-handed hitting option in the outfield.
Since the Orioles are still vying to upgrade their defense in the corner outfield positions, the signing of Gentry gives the organization another option in the outfield with speed.
The 33-year old veteran has dealt with multiple injuries over the past two seasons, missing most of 2016 with a back injury. He played in just 14 major league games with the Angels, hitting a measly .147.
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He also suffered a lumbar strain and was released by the team in August.
Since 2013, he’s also missed time with a broken left hand, broken right hand, lower back strain and concussion symptoms.
Despite an injure prone career, Gentry is a career .261 hitter over parts of eight major league seasons. He’s spent his time with most of the American League West — Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels.
In talking to Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun, Orioles manager Buck Showalter spoke highly of the veteran outfielder.
"“He’s a guy who for a couple years was considered one of the premier fourth outfielders,” Showalter said. “Plus runner, plus defender, wore out left-hand pitching.”"
An added luxury for the club, Gentry sets foot in a clubhouse he’s plenty familiar with. He is close friends with first baseman Chris Davis, coming up through the Rangers minor-league system together after both being drafted by Texas in 2006.
He’s also familiar with first base coach Wayne Kirby, hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh and infield coordinator Dave Anderson, who coached him in the Rangers organization.
Gentry feels that if he can revert back to old form, he’s more than capable of playing all three outfield positions at above-average caliber. Injuries can often set back a player’s career, but Gentry is prepared to reprove his worth and value.