Bringing in reinforcements: Orioles make moves as the rosters expand.
As we make our way into the month of September, each MLB team is tasked with the addition/subtraction of players. Since the start of the month, the Baltimore Orioles have been very active in their transactions. Earlier this afternoon, Baltimore activated newly acquired reliever Jorge Lopez and Aaron Hicks. In response, outfielder Colton Cowser was sent down to triple A Norfolk. Veteran reliever Austin Voth was also designated for assignment, but can return to the club if he clears waivers.
Baltimore has filled 39 of 40 roster spots after making these moves. Many around the club believe that roster spot will be filled by starting pitcher John Means, who hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2021 (Tommy John surgery). In 9.1 innings with the Norfolk Tides, Means has an ERA of 0.96 with 8 strikeouts and an opponent average of just .196. In his last outing with the Tides on August 31st, Means went 5 scoreless innings allowing 1 hit and striking out 6.
John Means could be a very useful piece come playoff time. He could become the fourth starter in a playoff rotation that features Kyle Bradish, Grayson Rodriguez, and Dean Kremer. Because he doesn’t have as electric stuff as some others, he might not be a bullpen arm. The Orioles could then move Jack Flaherty or Cole Irvin to the ‘pen to join D.L. Hall, Yennier Cano, Cionel Perez and company.
Adding Aaron Hicks is very important as well. Hicks has useful playoff experience with the Yankees, and the vet has shown flashes with the O’s this season. Sending Colton Cowser down makes sense, since he’s the odd man out. Still a great prospect, the young hitter just hasn’t shown consistency in the majors quite yet. The Orioles feel more comfortable having Hicks roam the outfield rather than Cowser at the moment. The second-youngest team in baseball can use all the veteran presence it can get.
It will be exciting to see the boys battle Tampa Bay for the division down the stretch, and it’s almost a given Baltimore will make the playoffs for the first time since 2016.