Duquette and Showalter considering many options to add depth in September

Over the past several days, Orioles manager Buck Showalter and executive vice president Dan Duquette have met with the organization's player development and minor league staff to discuss which players to add when rosters expand Sunday.

The discussion is a fluid one. The Orioles will undoubtedly add pitchers from Triple-A Norfolk to add depth to their bullpen. Right-hander Kevin Gausman, who pitched just three innings Sunday, is a near certainly, provided he doesn't get called up before Sunday, the first day teams can expand their active roster from 25 players to as many as 40.

The Orioles moves will be largely situational, much like last season, when they make just three call-ups on Sept. 1 and then additional moves throughout the month.

"There's a lot of moving parts in there," Showalter said. "I'll be glad when all the dust is settled here and that's what we're doing."

Another factor will be Triple-A Norfolk's chase for an International League playoff spot. The Tides went into Monday's game with Gwinnett just a half-game out of a wild-card spot with nine games remaining.

Regardless, the Orioles plan on making multiple waves of roster call-ups beginning Sunday. If Norfolk doesn't make the playoffs, another batch of players will go down to instructional league and continue working in case there's a later need. The Orioles made five recall moves last September to add bullpen arms.

"We'd like for them to make the playoffs so they can continue playing ball," Duquette said. "There are obviously a few players who could help our ballclub on 9/1 and there are a few more, who with a little bit more experience can come up later on in September and help us."

Duquette said the club will consider players on the current 40-man roster and some who are not. The club currently has one spot available on its 40-man roster, but it will be taken when designated hitter Wilson Betemit is activated from the 60-day disabled list.

There will be some tough decisions. But one of Duquette's chief goals since arriving in Baltimore was building organizational depth. And while Duquette is always looking to add from the outside, he likes his internal options for the final month.

"It's important to have depth because it's a long season and things can happen," Duquette said. "We've been diligent about adding players. Hopefully some of the players we have can help the team and help us get to the playoffs."

Adding to the roster creates a more cramped clubhouse, but for younger players, the opportunity to be a part of a playoff race is priceless.

"Every club has it, but you have different dynamic in your clubhouse, traveling to Fenway Park with the locker room and on the plane," Showalter said. "There's a different dynamic, but it's a small price to pay. The thing is, we're not calling people up, I don't think, that people don't already know. It should be pretty seamless."

CLICK HERE for a breakdown of some of the top candidates to join the Orioles next month (or scroll through the gallery above).



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