PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- With just four days until Opening Day rosters must be finalized, the Orioles made four cuts Wednesday afternoon, optioning outfielder Henry Urrutia and right-hander Steve Johnson to Triple-A Norfolk and reassigning outfielder Quintin Berry and infielder Alexi Casilla to minor league camp.
Urrutia, a Cuban defector who went from Double-A to the majors in his first professional season last year, was competing for a designated hitter-outfielder bench spot. The 27-year-old was 10-for-39 with four doubles, one homer and three RBIs over 16 spring games.
Johnson opened the season in a crowded mix competing for a rotation spot, but the acquisition of right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez pushed him into the bullpen competition. The St. Paul’s alum allowed six runs over nine innings in six Grapefruit League outings.
Casilla, an offseason minor league signing, battled hamstring and knee injuries that hurt his chances of making the team as a utility infielder. He played in just 10 spring games and has four hits in 22 at-bats.
Berry, a speedy player who can play all three outfield positions, was 9-for-38 this spring.
The Orioles' spring camp roster is now at 36 players, but the team has yet to place four players on the disabled list -- third baseman Manny Machado, outfielder Francisco Peguero, right-hander Edgmer Escalona and left-hander Johan Santana. Rule 5 pick Michael Almanzar could also open the season on the DL.
If you include left-hander Troy Patton, who will be transferred to the restricted list as he serves a 25-game suspension, the Orioles have 30 players fighting for 25 spots.
Also of note:
** Nolan Reimold, who was scheduled to bat leadoff here as the starting designated hitter, was scratched from tonight’s starting lineup. Third baseman Jonathan Schoop will move from No. 9 to leadoff and minor leaguer Chris Marrero is the new DH hitting out of the No. 9 spot.
Reimold’s removal is peculiar. He is attempting a comeback from multiple neck surgeries over the past two years and hasn’t played in the field much this spring. He also went to minor league camp for more at-bats to get his timing after missing the majority of the past two seasons.
It’s uncertain if Reimold could be heading to the DL, but not playing him today would allow the Orioles to backdate any DL stint to Saturday.
Here are tonight’s starting lineups: