The Orioles on Sunday claimed right-hander reliever Jorge Rondon off waivers from the Colorado Rockies and transferred catcher Matt Wieters to the 60-day disabled list to create 40-man roster space for him.
Rondon will be assigned to Triple-A Norfolk.
Moving Wieters — who is catching games in extended spring training in Sarasota, Fla., while rehabbing from Tommy John elbow surgery — to the 60-day disabled list means that he can't be activated until May 26, at the earliest. He was placed on the disabled list on March 27, which was the first day players are allowed to go on the DL.
Wieters appears to be several weeks from returning to the active roster. He has increased his workload behind the plate and is slated to catch eight innings in an extended spring game on Tuesday, then go to nine innings on Thursday and Saturday. After that, he would still have to catch on back-to-back days multiple times before he is able to go on a minor league rehab assignment.
"He's still a ways away," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who also pointed out that most Tommy John surgeries have recovery times of about one year. Wieters had the procedure on June 16, 2014.
Rondon had 3.03 ERA in parts of four seasons at the Triple-A level in the St. Louis Cardinals and Rockies organizations. After the Rockies claimed him off waivers from the Cardinals in the offseason, the 27-year-old Rondon opened the season at Triple-A Albuquerque, where he allowed just one run over 62/3 innings before being called up late last month.
He made just two appearances for the Rockies and had an unsightly 90.00 ERA in one relief inning over two appearances. He faced 15 batters and allowed 11 runs (10 earned) on eight hits and four walks.
Orioles wear pink for a cause
Showalter doesn't like the look of pink cleats, but he knew the reason was a worthwhile one.
Wearing pink had become a Mother's Day tradition and an opportunity to raise breast cancer awareness. Players wore pink ribbon patches on their uniforms, pink wristbands, pink cleats and even pink undershirts, shin guards and catcher's equipment.
"The shoes, I'll wear them for an inning and I will, but I'll have a pair of black ones up the runway," Showalter said. "But it's for a great cause."
Players have been trying to break in in their new pink cleats over the past few days. The various designs from different apparel companies are talking points inside the clubhouse.
Showalter on Sunday said he would think of his mother, Lina, who is home in Florida.
"I know my mother is preparing for the game today right now," Showalter said. "She's probably at church and she'll probably head home. You've got to be on the front porch 15 minutes before game time or you don't get in. … She'll sit there and watch the game and I'll think about it before I make [a fool] of myself on the field. It does cross my mind, because she can read lips."
Showalter placed third baseman Manny Machado in the leadoff spot for the seventh time in the past eight games on Sunday, a sign that he's going to bat Machado atop the order regularly going forward.
Machado isn't the prototypical leadoff man, but Showalter said there few true leadoff hitters. The Yankees have two in center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and left fielder Brett Gardner, who hit first and second in the New York order.
"If I had one of those guys that a few guys do have, you'd put him there," Showalter said. "But it's been shown [that] it's not a necessity. It's a luxury. … Manny's responded well to it, but I think he would have if you hit him ninth or first."
Before Sunday's game, in which Machado went 1-for-4, he had a .379 on-base percentage in his seven games batting leadoff. He was 7-for-25 with four walks, one homer and two RBIs in that span.