A flurry of activity in this update as the Orioles have begun to trim down their Major League camp roster with the 2013 Opener just one week away. Zach Britton became the first 5th starter candidate to be optioned to AAA. Russ Canzler, Lew Ford, and Jason Pridie were other notable players to be reassigned – or in Canzler’s case optioned – to Minor League camp. The Orioles also released another half dozen minor leaguers earlier in the week, including independent league signings Mike Recchia and Dan Meyer, as well as former over slot draft pick Cameron Coffey. Ronnie Welty was dealt on Sunday to the Phillies in exchange for Juilio Rodriguez. Rodriquez will begin the season in AA Bowie's rotation.
I moved Tyler Townsend to the disabled list when updating yesterday and then news came out today that Townsend – who struggled staying healthy – has decided to retire. In addition to Townsend’s retirement, the Orioles were also forced to deal with another unanticipated roster move this week when Wilson Betemit sprained his PCL in Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League game against the Red Sox. Betemit will be completely sidelined a minimum of 6-8 weeks. He hopes to be able to begin baseball activities at that time, which likely puts a return to the Majors somewhere around or after the All-Star break. While Betemit’s injury is unfortunate, it opens up a spot for another left-handed hitter to make the team. Ryan Flaherty would appear to be the odds on favorite for that role.
Several other house keeping moves were made in the 3-26-13 Depth Chart update, most notably moving Steve Pearce ahead of Conor Jackson in the battle for the right-handed bench player spot. Pearce has had the better spring of the two and that spot appears to be his.