The outfielder’s rehabilitation period at Double-A Bowie ends Tuesday, but because of the 48-hour window in which a player needs to be either added to the 25-man major league roster or released, manager Buck Showalter said Santander could be added Thursday, the Orioles' day off.
"I know, eventually, he has to appear on the roster Thursday," Showalter said. "I think you'll see that move come to fruition sometime Thursday."
Santander, 22, is batting .380 with five home runs and 14 RBIs for the Baysox in his first extended time in Double-A. Showalter said it's likely he'll be a bench player for the time being, as the Orioles lack flexibility at first base, designated hitter and in the corner outfield spots.
Either way, Showalter’s excited to see a promising Rule 5 project in the majors.
"He's done well," he said. "0-for-3 last night. The thing that I'm trying to get a feel for and haven't gotten a real definitive answer is what kind of defender he's going to be. In the outfield, you can't make the ball be hit to him."
Santander needs to remain on the active roster for 90 consecutive days as a Rule 5 pick, with any time this year carrying over to next season, provided he’s on the Opening Day roster then.
Flaherty still nearing return
Infielder Ryan Flaherty (shoulder) remains under consideration to join the team in Seattle, where the Orioles begin a three-game series Monday.
"I'm still talking to [executive vice president Dan Duquette] about that," Showalter said. "I know [Flaherty] came out of the game last night because of the rain delay. I don't really have an update on that yet. ... When he's ready, he's coming. Just the arm, making sure that that's [OK]. Being able to throw, then be OK the next day. It's just good for him. He's swinging the bat well. He's ready to go offensively."
While Flaherty has a natural fit on the roster — he could replace spare infielder Rubén Tejada — there's still some concern in trying to get the likes of Tejada or Craig Gentry off the roster to make room for the returning Santander and Flaherty at this time of year.
Gentry's speed and defense would make him a bench asset on an expanded roster, while Tejada's defense is also strong. The Orioles would have to designate either for assignment at a time when it's now guaranteed they wouldn't be claimed by another club.
Showalter said that after a mental-health day for first baseman Chris Davis on Thursday, his last two games have been a bit different.
Davis didn't get a hit Friday but drew a walk and had two RBI singles in Saturday's 12-5 win.
"I though his first game, I was intrigued by that," Showalter said. "He looked a little better. I thought that was a little different look. And yesterday, he had something to show for it a little bit. But we'll see. When Chris is good, he's real, real good. If he can just stay away from those long periods where it's a challenge for him, we're going to need it. ... It'll be nice to have one of those Chris Davis periods."