Orioles' first round of spring roster cuts ends former slugger's comeback attempt

The first round of spring training cuts are in for the Orioles.
Baltimore Orioles Photo Day: Orioles pitcher Seth Johnson poses for a photo
Baltimore Orioles Photo Day: Orioles pitcher Seth Johnson poses for a photo / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Spring Training is in full swing for the Orioles in Sarasota, with plenty of players making their case for a major league spot to begin the season. That has especially been the case for pitchers, as injuries to the rotation have created more opportunities for competition on the pitching side of things.

On Friday, with just under three weeks until the season starts, the Orioles announced their first roster cuts of the spring, with six players being sent down to minor league camp. That list includes Ronald Guzmán, who was in camp as a pitcher after converting from a position player.

Ronald Guzmán headlines list of Orioles players sent to minor league camp

Guzmán started his career as a first baseman, hitting 31 home runs and 39 doubles over four seasons with the Texas Rangers. He was also a first baseman in the New York Yankees organization in 2022 but entered camp with the San Francisco Giants in 2023 with the hopes of becoming a two-way player.

He was hitting 98 mph with his fastball and had an 8.10 ERA through four appearances in Cactus League play but was then shelved with a left forearm strain. Guzmán abandoned hitting entirely in the offseason, playing in the Dominican Winter League as a pitcher before signing with the Orioles near the end of January.

Guzmán gets re-assigned to minor league camp without having appeared in a single Grapefruit League game with the Orioles. As he hasn't made very many appearances on the mound, it's not far-fetched to imagine Guzmán in Single-A games to start the season.

The lone player the Orioles had to option to minor-league camp was Seth Johnson, as he was the only player on the 40-man roster in the first set of cuts. Johnson appeared in one Grapefruit League game this spring, throwing two scoreless innings in one start.

Non-roster pitchers Justin Armbruester, Nathan Webb, and Garrett Stallings were also re-assigned to minor league camp. Stallings and Armbruester have each appeared in one game this spring, with both throwing three scoreless innings. Webb is still recovering from Tommy John Surgery and isn't near pitching yet.

The lone position player in the first round of cuts was catcher Silas Ardoin, ranked outside the Orioles' top 30 prospects list. Ardoin didn't get into any Grapefruit League action behind the plate, with the Orioles only having used Adley Rutschman, James McCann, David Bañuelos and Michael Pérez in game action.