Prior to the Baltimore Orioles loss on Monday to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team sent three players to Triple-A affiliate, the Norfolk Tide. The roster moves included OF Xavier Avery, and pitchers Zach Clark and Mike Belfiore. These moves were generally expected as the outfield and pitching staff were already stacked from day one.
Avery is the most notable roster move as he spent some time with Orioles in 2012 and batted just .223 in 32 games. Avery was used quite frequently as a source of speed on when he did get on base. The 23-year old had six stolen bases last year and has an impressive 139 stolen bases in 552 career minor league games in five seasons.
Clark has been with the Orioles organization since 2006 when he was just 22 years old and has spent his entire career in the minor leagues of the course of seven seasons. Last season in Double-A and Triple-A he had a combined record of 15-7 as a starter. This move will mark his fifth stint in Triple-A, and I’m sure he’s hoping it his last. He is now 29 years old, and in baseball years that’s the near the halfway point in a career.
Belfiore was probably the most expected of the three roster cuts. The 23-year old lefty was acquired mid-season last year from the Arizona Diamondbacks and went 5-1 in 28 appearances in a relief role. He had an impressive 50 strikeouts in just 47.1 innings with AA Bowie Baysox.
All three of these players have a legitimate chance to make it to the big leagues at some point this season. After the three roster moves the roster has been downsized to 53. During the season teams can have a 40-man active roster, which includes players on injured reserve and those in the minor leagues.