Buck Showalter, Orioles teammates react to Delmon Young DFA

Any postgame cheer while discussing the Orioles' 4-2 win over the Texas Rangers disappeared from the faces of manager Buck Showalter and some of his charges when asked about outfielder Delmon Young. Young found out after another of his prolific batting practice displays Wednesday that he was designated for assignment.

"There's not a right decision there," said Showalter, who delivered the news to Young. "Nobody is trying to present it as such. We've got good quality people, and you reach a point where you can't keep them all. Unfortunately, we're probably not done.


"It tugs at your chest. When you're around people as much as we are for this period of time, go though some of the things that we go through ... make[s] it a real difficult conversation, not one that you can present as why you're right. I don't preclude to say that. But we exhausted every possibility and as we go forward, there's not a good decision to make."

The Orioles designated Young for assignment after the pregame media availability, so the postgame session was the first chance to get the players' and manager's thoughts on the move.

Young was batting .270/.289/.339 with a pair of home runs and 16 RBIs in 52 games this year. He had 10 hits in 20 pinch-hit appearances in 2014, when he hit .302/.337/.442 and excelled off the bench.

Ultimately, he was the victim of a roster crunch that loomed for weeks in the Orioles clubhouse. The addition of outfielders Nolan Reimold and Chris Parmelee sapped Young's playing time in the field, and Jimmy Paredes' hot bat kept him from serving as designated hitter.

The rare lack of flexibility meant that the Orioles were forced to look to their pool of reserve outfielders for a player to clear from the roster in order to add right-hander Tyler Wilson to an undermanned bullpen.

Wilson didn't pitch Wednesday, and Showalter said after the game that he wouldn't have a seven-man bullpen Thursday, meaning Wilson may be the necessary countermove when the Orioles add right-hander Kevin Gausman to start the game.

Given his lack of versatility in a time when the Orioles need that from their roster, Young's time may have been coming to an end in Baltimore regardless. But the team expects to find a trade partner and Showalter said seeing Young end up on another major league roster is the cost of operating at the level the Orioles are. The Orioles have 10 days to trade, release, or place Young on waivers.

"Obviously there's been some good things we've [done] for Delmon's career," Showalter said. "It's tough for both of us. I remember the first conversation I had with him when he came down to minicamp. He didn't have a whole lot of people knocking on his door. Everything I asked of him, he did. So that's what makes it tough. There's nothing he did wrong."

Young's loss was still fresh in the winning clubhouse Wednesday night.

"Delmon had my back — he's a great friend and great teammate, but there's nothing I can do," second baseman Jonathan Schoop said. The two had lockers next to each other at Camden Yards, and Young served as a mentor for Schoop in his first two major league seasons.

"It's sad, but I know for sure he will figure out something and I wish him really good [success]," Schoop said.

"He's a great teammate," shortstop J.J. Hardy said. "Everyone likes him. He's fun to be around. He's funny, a great player, pinch hitter off the bench, playing great in the field this year, too. He's a guy everyone likes in here, and he's definitely going to be missed."

For Caleb Joseph, Young's assignment was a moment to reflect on all the positive he has done. He says the photo on the clubhouse hallway wall of Young's iconic three-run, pinch-hit double in last year's American League Division Series against the Detroit Tigers was "a reminder of how clutch he was all last year." But it also reminded him that baseball is a business.

"Delmon was incredible for me coming up," he said. "A guy that is the same age as me but has almost 10 years [in the majors] — he let me know that. A lot. But awesome teammate. He really found a home here, he really enjoyed it and the team really embraced him."