The final month of the regular season typically allows clubs to get a closer look at some of their prospects for the future, but with roster expansion coming Sept. 1, the Orioles aren’t expected to add too many new faces.
Some familiar names will likely join the major league roster, but beyond infielder Steve Wilkerson, 26, and outfielder Joey Rickard, 27, who appear likely join the team in September, there aren’t many options for call-ups, especially now that center fielder Cedric Mullins, 23, has already been promoted.
Outfielder Austin Hays, 23, who would be more than three weeks into his return from a lengthy disabled list stint, would also be a likely September call-up. Catcher Chance Sisco, 23, would likely return as a third catcher. Outfielder Anthony Santander, 23, and Rule 5 reliever Pedro Araujo, 25, could be ready to return from the DL by then.
“We won’t because we have a number of guys who won’t be available,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “I’m hoping Araujo can get back by then. I was [looking at] it yesterday. There’s just a bunch of guys who can physically come up. Maybe a [Mark] Trumbo. … We’re still a good week from that.”
While pondering Mullins’ call-up, the Orioles also considered Triple-A Norfolk outfielder DJ Stewart, who is not on the 40-man roster, but he entered Wednesday hitting just .184 since the All-Star break and his season batting average dipped to .228.
Showalter has traditionally not liked bringing up an influx of players who might not play, but with the Orioles at the beginning of their rebuild and already auditioning several young players for the future, the evaluation that might typically take place in September is already underway.
“I’m sure we’ll wait and talk to [executive vice president] Dan [Duquette] and see what his thoughts are,” Showalter said. “We’ve got some people here we need to see play, too. There aren’t a whole lot of [healthy] arms on the roster right now, though it can be as simple as adding someone to the roster who you’d have to protect anyway [in the offseason].”
Trumbo still weighing options
Showalter had no update on Trumbo, who is weighing whether to have surgery on his ailing right knee.
“I think it’s kind of his time frame,” Showalter said. “[The DL stint is] 10 days, so we’ll know in 10 days. … You like having Mark around for more than his ability to hit. He’s a guy who has been pretty consistent for this year. It’s a kick in the pants.
“But it opens an opportunity to look at some other people, too. There’s two sides to that. I’d rather have Mark around, but I look forward to whatever direction they and he go to make sure he doesn’t have as much of an issue with this. I think we can talk about it a little more in detail when they decide what direction to go.”
Andreoli’s debut a mixed bag
After a first start in left field where he appeared uncomfortable, newly acquired outfielder John Andreoli served as the designated hitter for Wednesday’s series finale.
Andreoli charged a sinking liner of the bat of Kendrys Morales and let it skip by him on a hop Tuesday, and had Mullins not been backing him up to hold Morales to a single, it would have been an error. He also took two other awkward routes to fly balls.
“He caught the balls he got to and one he almost made,” Showalter said. “I honestly thought, ‘What a great play by Cedric.’ I try to look at the half-full part. A lot of guys aren’t there. He couldn’t quite get there. I looked at the route from overhead just to [make sure]. He caught two balls. He obviously runs real well and he plays with a lot of intensity.
“You let things kind of settle down a bit. You have a lot of emotion flying around rightfully so, but we’ll take a good look at him and have an idea about him. He’s a player will three options that brings some skills that people want to take a look at, including us. We’ll see where it takes us. It’s that time of the year where those looks go away, so you need to take a good look at it.”
Andreoli was 1-for-3 with a walk in his Orioles debut Tuesday.
Around the horn
Showalter said he’s stilling weighing whether to start Yefry Ramírez or Jimmy Yacabonis in one game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the New York Yankees. One major factor is the Orioles will also need a starter for Tuesday’s game against the Blue Jays, and the pitcher who doesn’t start Saturday could fill that spot. Right-hander Andrew Cashner will pitch the other game Saturday. … The Orioles will host “Brunch at the Ballpark” before the team’s Sept. 16 game against the Chicago White Sox at Camden Yards. Special ticket packages — which will include a brunch spread with breakfast biscuits, a build-your-own scrambled egg station, cinnamon French toast, home fries, muffins, fruit, coffee and bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys as well as an Orioles coffee mug, a $10 gift card to the Orioles Team Store and a game ticket — range from $35 to $65 and can be purchase at orioles.com/brunch.