Orioles designate Teagarden, purchase contracts of Snyder, Clevenger

NEW YORK — The Orioles made major switches at the catcher position on the first day of roster expansion Sunday, designating backup Taylor Teagarden for assignment while purchasing the contract of veteran Chris Snyder and Baltimore native Steve Clevenger from Triple-A Norfolk.

Teagarden, who has been the Orioles’ chief backup behind Matt Wieters since last, found himself as the odd man out. Snyder — who filled in when Teagarden went on the disabled list earlier this season — could have opted out of his contract if the Orioles didn’t add him to the active roster Sunday.


Organizational catching depth has been a concern for the Orioles. But they like Snyder’s ability to call games and work with pitchers. Clevenger, a Mount St. Joseph grad acquired in July from the Chicago Cubs as part of the trade for Scott Feldman, is a valuable left-handed bat who can also play first base.

“These are always tough decisions,” Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said. “There’s a premium on roster spaces. We appreciate all the hard work Taylor Teagarden has given us.


“Chris Snyder did a good job working with pitchers when he was here earlier in the year and also with the younger pitchers in Triple-A. Since we sent Snyder back to the minors, we also acquired Clevenger, who is a good left-handed bat who can play other positions. It’s just very tough to have four catchers on the roster.”

Teagarden, who was hitless in his first 21 at-bats this season, was just 10-for-60 in 23 games, recording a .167/.180/.300 slash line. But he was valued as a veteran backup behind Wieters.

“I’ve known him for a long time,” Showalter said of Teagarden, who has endured back and thumb injuries in his time with the Orioles. “I was there when he was drafted [by the Texas Rangers in 2005]. … It’s tough, especially the timing of it, but you can’t say everything always feels good. I’m sure there were some good reasons.”

The Orioles transferred minor league catcher Brian Ward from Double-A Bowie to Norfolk, and catcher Caleb Joseph, an Eastern League All-Star, is also expected to be promoted from Bowie on Monday. The Orioles hope to keep Teagarden in the organization, but that won’t be resolved for at least two days as he must pass through waivers.

Thames designated for assignment

The Orioles also designated minor league outfielder Eric Thames for assignment Sunday. He was on the organization’s 40-man roster but hasn’t played for the big league team. He batted .252/.315/.356 for Norfolk with three homers and 13 RBIs.

The club then selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Eric Beaulac, who is out with a torn labrum in his right hip, from Double-A Bowie and immediately placed him on the 15-day major league disabled list. Beaulac essentially fills Thames’ spot on the 40-man roster, and the move gives the Orioles an additional injury replacement spot for a potential postseason roster.

In formulating their rosters for the postseason, clubs can use DL spots to add players not on the major league roster by Sept. 1. So, with Beaulac and Nolan Reimold on the DL, they have two extra spots to use. Jason Hammel and Steve Pearce are also on the DL but are expected to return before season’s end.


Wada making push for callup

The Orioles were impressed with Tsuyoshi Wada’s six shutout innings Saturday for Norfolk as the lefty tries to position himself for a call-up this month.

Over his past six starts, Wada is 4-1 with a 1.43 ERA, but Saturday’s outing — in which he allowed five hits and struck out two and walked three — was the first in that span that he pitched on regular rest.

“It was good,” Showalter said of Wada, who had Tommy John surgery in May 2012. “He threw well. He’s come on little by little. That’s kind of the par for the course for his surgery. You’re going to have some struggles early on. He’s gotten more confidence with his fastball. … You don’t feel real comfortable throwing the ball in the zone for a while with a little different elbow. I think he’s gotten over that now.”

Wada entered Saturday’s start 5-2 with a 3.13 ERA with an additional day of rest and 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA on regular rest.

Around the horn


Fifteen of Adam Jones’ 28 homers this season have come in day games, second most in the American League behind teammate Chris Davis’ 17. … Derek Jeter’s fourth-inning sacrifice fly Sunday gave him his 1,258th career RBI, passing Bernie Williams for sixth on the New York Yankees’ all-time list. … J.J. Hardy’s seventh-inning homer gave him 76 since the beginning of the 2011 season, most among major league shortstops. ... Double-A Bowie outfielder Kyle Hudson was placed on the minor league disabled list with a stress fracture in his right leg.