The Orioles have gotten Luke Scott, Michael Gonzalez and Kevin Millwood back.
Second baseman Brian Roberts will return soon, possibly by Friday, surely by the end of the weekend (barring another setback).
Catcher Matt Wieters can be activated Sunday, and looks like he will be. So the Orioles will have to trim at least two more players from their current roster.
The easy response is, 'Why should it matter?' They are baseball's worst team, after all. But that doesn't make the potential moves less intriguing.
To make room for Roberts, the likely scenario is that Scott Moore or Julio Lugo is removed from the roster. Since Lugo is older with less upside, he'd be an obvious candidate. But the reason the Orioles got him in March was so they could have a backup at shortstop to Cesar Izturis.
With Lugo gone, the roster would be void of another SS type, making it hard to pinch hit for Izturis or give him a rest.
Moore won't play much shortstop but has shown flashes of an upside, and he is only 26. Removing him from the roster means the organization might lose him to waivers. That'd be a calculated risk.
Honestly, the middle-infield situation, to me anyway, isn't as perplexing as what the club should do when Wieters comes back. Jake Fox could be the odd man out, but his power bat is welcomed. And he likely would get claimed on waivers.
Keep in mind, backup catcher Craig Tatum still has options. He could be demoted to Triple-A Norfolk without losing him. But Tatum has played well in Wieters' absence -- better than most of us thought he would when the Orioles chose him over Chad Moeller.
A Tatum demotion likely would be temporary -- especially if the club clears room on the 25-man roster at the trade deadline -- but it's a bad message to send to the other young players. "Play your guts out like Tatum did, but you are going down anyway. This worst team in the league can't make room for you."
Another possibility would be removing a reliever, but the bullpen is already taxed. And the perennial roster bubble guy, Matt Albers, has been the club's best reliever in July.
As Juan Samuel likes to say, these decisions often work themselves out. Trades or injuries could make the conversation moot. Still, it's fun knocking it around now.
Yeah, it might be rearranging Titanic deck chairs, but who should get the boot when Roberts and Wieters are ready to play? And why?