Two weeks into the Major League season, the Orioles have made several moves effecting the Major League roster.
Brian Roberts unfortunately landed on the disabled list in the season's very first week with a hamstring injury. Roberts is still likely a few weeks away from a return. With two second baseman - Alexi Casilla and Ryan Flaherty - already on the 25 man roster, the Orioles did not feel the need to promote another middle infielder to make up for the loss of Brian. The team instead carried thirteen pitchers (eight relievers and five starters) for the week after Roberts' injury. Ryan Flaherty has gotten the majority of starts - particularly against RHP - in Roberts' stead.
It was a short-term solution as the Buck Showalter made it clear the team would eventually return to a more conventional seven-man bullpen and four-man bench. They finally did so on Wednesday by trading right-handed reliever Luis Ayala to the Braves for minor league pitcher left-handed pitcher Chris Jones. Outfielder Chris Dickerson was recalled from Triple A Norfolk to occupy the final bench spot, filling the need for a left-handed batter off the bench.
Down on the Farm, the Orioles made two waiver claims since the last update. Josh Stinson was claimed off of waivers from the Oakland A's on April 4th. The right-hander has been placed in Norfolk's starting rotation at least until Steve Johnson returns from the disabled list which is expected to occur within the next couple of weeks. On April 12th, the O's claimed right-handed reliever Alex Burnett off of waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. Burnett has been assigned to Norfolk and will work out of the bullpen.
On the injury front, starting pitcher Julio Rodriquez - acquired in the offseason in exchange for Ronnie Welty - landed on the disabled list at Bowie after his only start of the season. Devin Jones has been promoted from Frederick to take his spot in the Bowie rotation. Currently, Norfolk, Bowie, and Frederick are operating with 3-man benches in order to carry an extra pitcher each. This is not necessarily temporary at any level given that each team currently carries enough players with positional flexibility to make carrying a short bench at least plausible. Dan Duquette continues to stock piled relief options at the higher levels of the system so I would not expect Norfolk to dip below 13 pitchers anytime soon.
Andy Loomis has been the only player moved down a level thus far, but it is hard to call it a demotion. The left-handed reliever has been shuffled between Norfolk, Bowie, and Frederick for roster purposes but seems likely to land in Bowie once things settle down. At Norfolk, Daniel McCutchen has been suspended 50-game for violating the Minor League drug policy.
In addition to these "actual" moves, I made some moves within teams to reflect who is getting the most playing time and where.