Orioles reshuffle roster, recalling LHP Rom and sending Urias to IL
The Orioles made a flurry of moves on Tuesday afternoon ahead of Game 2 of their series against the Tampa Bay Rays, adding three players and subtracting three from the 26-man roster. Coming in are: (1) Drew Rom, LHP; (2) Terrin Vavra, UTIL; and (3) Ryan O'Hearn, 1B. Going out are: (1) Ramon Urias, IF; (2) Keegan Akin, LHP; and (3) Luis Torrens, C.
The biggest news is the Orioles placing starting infielder Ramon Urias on the Injured List with a left hamstring strain following an injury he sustained in the ninth inning of last night's 3-0 loss against the Rays. Orioles GM Mike Elias noted that Urias "will miss a good bit of time" with the injury, which is unfortunate as he had been swinging the bat well of late.
Without Urias, the Orioles' crowded infield picture becomes a bit more open, with Gunnar Henderson, Jorge Mateo, and Adam Frazier now likely to receive nearly everyday at bats at third base, shortstop, and second base, respectively. Terrin Vavra takes Urias's spot on the roster and will likely reprise his role of super-utility man that he held prior to his demotion at the end of April.
The most interesting news was the recall of Drew Rom and the optioning of Keegan Akin. After allowing a left-on-left home run to Tampa's Luke Raley last night, Akin's ERA stood at 5.91. Rom's first appearance following the call up will be his first in the Major Leagues. The Orioles drafted Rom in the fourth round of the 2018 MLB Draft out of Fort Thomas, Kentucky.
He spent parts of five seasons in the Orioles' minor league system, and it is nice to see him getting his chance with the big club. And it is well deserved. The 23-year-old lefthander was excelling in Triple-A Norfolk thus far, posting a stellar 2.87 ERA, 4-1 record, and 32 strikeouts in 31 innings. He will likely serve in a long relief role with the team but is also likely to head back to the minors when Mychal Givens and Dillon Tate join the team from their rehab assignments.
The most perplexing (though not necessarily important) news was the Orioles' decision to recall Ryan O'Hearn and designate catcher Luis Torrens for assignment. Remember last week when the Orioles acquired Torrens from the cubs for cash considerations and optioned O'Hearn to Triple-A two days later to make room for him on the 26-man roster? I do too. Well, now the opposite has happened. Torrens is gone, O'Hearn is back, and one can't help but wonder why the Orioles acquired Torrens in the first place. Yes, there was some logic behind adding a third catcher for games where both Adley Rutschman and James McCann were in the lineup. But Torrens did not play once, even though the Orioles started both Rutschman and McCann twice in Atlanta and last night against the Rays. While the thought process behind the entire Torrens ordeal is bizarre, O'Hearn brings his 5-19 season with 6 RBIs back to Baltimore, where he will again see sparse playing time as the team's backup first baseman.
Neither Vavra nor O'Hearn are in the Orioles' lineup in tonight's game against Tampa Bay righthander Zach Efflin, but both should be available off the bench to pinch hit as needed.