Orioles recall Josh Lester from Norfolk in a busy week

Josh Lester hopes to make his Orioles debut
Josh Lester hopes to make his Orioles debut / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

The Baltimore Orioles selected the contract of Josh Lester on Saturday and added him to the 40 man roster. Lester is a left-handed power hitter who has experience playing all over the diamond. He has mostly played the corner infield positions, but he does have limited experience in the middle infield and more recently, has played the corner outfield spots in the minors. Lester had a standout spring training for the Orioles this season, but there just wasn't enough room on the roster for him.

Utility player Josh Lester called up from Triple A Norfolk in a busy week of moves

Lester brought his hot bat with him to Norfolk and has continued to perform well for the Tides. He leads the powerhouse Triple-A club with 50 RBI's in 52 games this season. Lester has hit .282/.339/.539 this season with 14 home runs and 37 runs scored, and he's no slouch defensively. He has a .968 fielding percentage while playing three different positions in Norfolk.

While Lester has played well enough to be called up to most major league teams, the choice to call on him now is interesting. The Birds have solid depth at both corner infield and outfield positions, and this other kid named Jordan Westburg, who has played even better than Lester in Norfolk. Additionally, the roster spot that opened came from two pitchers, Danny Coulombe and Dillon Tate.

Coulombe was placed on the bereavement list and we here at Birds Watcher will keep him and his family in our thoughts while he deals with this tough time. Tate was transferred to the 60-day IL with the injury setback he had when he was set to return to the Orioles in May. The Birds bullpen has been worked hard recently and adding another arm like left-handed Nick Vespi would have made sense in replacing Coulombe, but I have learned not to question Mike Elias.

Speaking of adding an arm, Bruce Zimmermann was recalled when Mychal Givens was placed on the 15-day IL on June 2 with right shoulder inflammation. Givens had struggled since coming off the IL just two weeks ago. In six appearances, Givens had allowed five earned runs in 4.0 innings, including three earned runs in his last appearance without recording an out. Zimmermann has been solid as a starter in Norfolk and shares the team lead with 50 strikeouts but has a 4.05 ERA. Zimmermann will likely fill a long reliever role in Baltimore.

The Orioles also quietly made a trade with the division rival New York Yankees on Friday. The Orioles brought in Jose Godoy and it has not yet been announced what the Yankees will receive in return. Godoy is 28 years old and has mostly been in minors since 2012. Godoy has appeared in parts of two seasons with the Seattle Mariners (2021), Minnesota Twins (2022) and Pittsburgh Pirates (2022). He was likely brought in for depth in Norfolk. Hopefully he will last longer than Luis Torrens.

All of this came just days after the Orioles signed Aaron Hicks when Cedric Mullins went down with injury. Many people questioned the addition of Hicks, but he has performed well in his limited role. We may not always understand the reasoning behind some of these moves, but true Orioles fans know not to question them. After all, in Elias we trust.