Outfielder DJ Stewart has been named the Orioles organization’s Minor League Player of the Month for August, the club announced Monday.
Stewart, the Orioles’ first-round pick two years ago out of Florida State, hit .340/.446/.610 with 15 extra-base hits (nine doubles and six homers) and 20 RBIs in 27 August games at Double-A Bowie.
He has enjoyed a breakout year in his second full professional season, hitting .278/.378/.481 with 26 doubles, 21 homers, 79 RBIs, 20 stolen bases and 65 walks in 126 games with the Baysox.
After finishing the regular season today, Bowie will open the Eastern League playoffs Wednesday. The Baysox roster has several September call-up options, including Stewart and outfielder Austin Hays, but the Orioles would be challenged to find space for them on the 40-man roster.
Triple-A Norfolk’s season ends today, and Orioles manager Buck Showalter said there are players from that roster he’d like to add, but the same organizational roster tightness exists there.
Slugging catcher Gary Sanchez will not be in the Yankees lineup for any of the games in this series. He will serve the three-game suspension he received for his part in his team’s Aug. 24 fight with the Detroit Tigers.
Time will tell whether that affects the series, but Orioles pitchers aren’t going to complain about missing a hitter who has 28 home runs and 79 RBIs. Sanchez hit 12 homers and drove in 26 runs in August but has just one homer in his past 10 games.
Showalter hopes to have outfielder Craig Gentry for pinch-running duty when he comes off the disabled list next week, but said club doctors are not ready to sign off on his acting in that capacity until it is determined that he isn’t in serious danger of aggravating his finger fracture on a slide.
Gentry would be eligible to return from the DL on Sept. 12, when the Orioles play their second game of a three-game series in Toronto.
Showalter was still waiting for more information on shortstop J.J. Hardy to determine when he will become available to rejoin the active roster. Hardy was scheduled to take some batting practice indoors Monday morning.
Hardy is still on the 60-day disabled list, so the Orioles must still open 40-man space for him when he returns.
Around the horn
Right-hander Alec Asher, who was optioned to Bowie before Sunday’s game, will pitch in relief for the Baysox, Showalter said.