A day after Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette mentioned Cord Phelps as an option for the starting second base job, the Orioles outrighted the 25-year-old to Triple-A Norfolk after he cleared waivers.
Duquette said once the club acquired Jemile Weeks in the Jim Johnson trade last week, it had a reasonable chance of slipping Phelps through waivers. The Orioles currently have 37 players on the 40-man roster, but will likely add reliever Ryan Webb today once he passes his physical.
Phelps, who was claimed off waivers from the Cleveland Indians two weeks ago, hit .267/.333/.443 with nine homers and 46 RBIs last year at Triple-A, but didn't play after July 2 after suffering neck and wrist injuries.
Minicamp set for Sarasota
Showalter said plans are set to hold a pitchers minicamp at the club's spring training home in Sarasota, Fla., Jan. 13-16.
For the past two years, the Orioles have planned a minicamp — in which young pitchers and those coming back from injuries attend to get a jump on spring training — during the club's annual FanFest. But because FanFest is so late this year —the event it slated for Feb 1, just 12 days before pitchers and catchers report — the Orioles will now hold it in Sarasota.
The minicamp, which will include non-arbitration-eligible players and nonroster players, is expected to draw about 15 players. Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, who is rehabbing from offseason knee surgery, is also slated to participate. Pitching prospect Dylan Bundy, who is recovering from June Tommy John surgery, as well as Wei-Yin Chen and T.J. McFarland are among those expected to attend.
The camp will also be the first time new pitching coach Dave Wallace and new bullpen coach Dom Chiti get to see pitchers in person.
"It's as much for Dave and Dom to start getting their arms around that relationship as it is to check on them physically," Showalter said.
Over the past two years, the Orioles signed a pitcher out of the camp, adding Stu Pomeranz in 2012 and signing Mark Hendrickson after a 2013 minicamp tryout.
Showalter said Wallace and Chiti are also planning to go to the West Coast to work with Tillman, Brian Matusz and Zach Britton in Southern California.
Around the horn
Initiating expanded instant replay in 2014 took another step forward on Monday when teams met to discuss the framework for next season. There will be another meeting today regarding the equipment that will be used; on Wednesday morning, the entire expanded replay plan will be unveiled. Plans are to test expanded replay during selected spring training games. … Wallace and Chiti were introduced to the local media Monday night. Both coaches come to the Orioles from the Braves organization, where they worked together closely to help develop Atlanta's young pitching. They will continue to work closely with the Orioles and Showalter said they're essentially like the pitching coach and assistant pitching coach. "We're kind of the antithesis of each other. We've had some good [fights], but that's what makes the pair pretty good," Chiti said. "He's a microwave, and I'm a crockpot," Wallace said with a laugh. ... The Hall of Fame veterans committee unanimously elected former managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre for induction into Cooperstown.
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