The Orioles have made moves with two of their veteran non-roster invitees
On Thursday, the Baltimore Orioles announced moves involving Matt Harvey and Wade LeBlanc, two veteran pitchers the team signed to minor league deals this offseason. The moves include adding Harvey to the team’s 40-man roster and LeBlanc exercising his opt-out.
The Orioles had 39 players on their 40-man roster before adding Harvey this morning, meaning a corresponding move wasn’t necessary to make room for the veteran right-hander. This Spring, Harvey has made three starts for the Orioles, allowing six runs over ten innings pitched. In his most recent start last Saturday, Harvey allowed just one hit in four innings of work against the AL East favorite New York Yankees.
According to a report from Roch Kubatko of MASN, infielder Pat Valaika had some nice things to say about Harvey’s performance against New York and throughout this Spring:
"“He’s been really good…I faced him maybe two years ago and he’s throwing a lot harder now. Moving the ball. He’s got a really good idea where his pitches are going and he seemed completely in control all night. I didn’t feel like I was playing defense for all that long. It was a crisp pace, he was getting the ball and throwing it.”"
Kubatko reported on Twitter that Harvey believes his final Grapefruit League start will come on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates at the Orioles’ facility in Sarasota.
As for Wade LeBlanc, the 36-year-old veteran left-hander exercised his opt-out on Wednesday when it became available and was granted free agency on Thursday evening. according to a tweet from Dan Connolly of The Athletic.
LeBlanc appeared in three games with the Orioles this Spring, twice as a starter, allowing just two earned runs over 8 innings of work. However, LeBlanc struggled with limiting walks during his outings, issuing five free passes this Spring.
Now a free agent, LeBlanc can negotiate with teams, including the Orioles, on a new contract. As Baltimore continues to develop young pitchers in the minor leagues, LeBlanc could return on a Major League deal and fall into a swingman role, which he was in the hunt for among other pitchers in the Orioles’ system.