Orioles make their second round of spring cuts

The Baltimore Orioles announced this evening seven players that have been optioned to the Minor League, essentially ending their bid to break camp with a spot on the 25-man roster. The list of players included in the second round of cut includes four pitchers and three position players.

As you may recall, last Sunday the Orioles began reducing the amount of players in camp with the first round of cuts. Included in that round were pitchers Hunter Harvey, assigned to Triple-A Norfolk, Chris Lee and Zach Pop, infielder Zach Vincej, catcher Cael Brockmeyer and outfielders Ryan McKenna and Mike Yastrzemski.

This time around, the Orioles have optioned left-handed pitcher Luis Ortiz and outfielder DJ Stewart to Triple-A Norfolk, while right-hander Dillon Tate has been optioned to Double-A Bowie. Pitchers Bo Schultz and Sean Gilmartin, catcher Martin Cervenka, outfielder Yusniel Diaz and infielder Ryan Mountcastle have been reassigned to Minor League camp.

Ortiz was scheduled to pitch today but did not get into the game but had a rough spring and certainly didn’t state his case to break camp with the team. He allowed eight earned runs in five innings over three innings and was touched for two runs against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers on February 25 and six total runs against the Rays on March 1 in Sarasota and on Wednesday in Port Charlotte.

Stewart went 2-for-4 today in the Orioles 8-5 loss to the Phillies. In 14 games, he had eight total hits in 30 at-bats (.267), didn’t hit a home run, but his five doubles are second-most on the team. Early in camp, Stewart was projected to break camp with the team as the starting right fielder however, other outfielders such as Austin Hays and Anthony Santander have move ahead of him and are now positioning themselves for a spot on the 25-man roster.

Schultz was one of 19 non-roster invitees to attend camp. He pitched in four games for the Orioles, covering three-and-a-third of an inning. He allowed six earned runs on nine hits while walking one and striking out one. In ten seasons at the minor league level, Schultz has tenure with the Oakland Athletics, Arizona Diamondbacks, Toronto Blue Jays and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Gilmartin was another non-roster invitee. He made three appearances in Grapefruit League action this spring, giving up three earned runs over three innings. His first outing was where all three runs were scored as he walked three batters on February 24 against the Blue Jays. Drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the first-round of the 2011 Amateur Draft, Gilmartin has a 4.42 career ERA over 151 games – 120 starts – in the Minor Leagues.

Cervenka, from the Czech Republic, made it into nine games behind the plate this spring. He only picked up two hits in seven at-bats, however each hit was a home run. After 482 games in the Minor Leagues, Cervenka holds a decent .241/.308/.355/.603 slash line with 31 home runs and 216 RBI over eight seasons in the minors.

Diaz is the organizations number one prospect, according to MLB Pipeline and he could potentially start the season at the Triple-A level. He was part of the Manny Machado trade last July and is generating buzz among fans as they are believe he will contribute vastly to the franchise’s rebuild over the next few seasons. Although he went 0-for-3 this afternoon, Diaz’ 11 hits is tied for team lead with Drew Jackson and Anthony Santander. He played in 14 games this spring, hit .333 (11-for-33) and had four extra-base hits.

Mountcastle played in 16 games this spring, which was the most of any player at the time of the cuts. He made an appearance at the plate this afternoon, but went 0-for-1. Expect to see him spend more time at first base in the minors this summer as the team tries to find a solution for a plus bat with a below-average arm from across the diamond. This spring, he went 8-for-28 (.286) with one home run and four RBI.

With the cuts, there are now 54 players in camp and they are still waiting on non-roster invitee Gregory Infante. He has yet to arrive after dealing with an undisclosed illness.

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Brian Pinter

Brian Pinter is the Director of Coverage on the Baltimore Orioles for Maryland Sports Blog. His views and opinions are that of his own and he welcomes any and all discussions. Follow along with Brian Pinter this season on Twitter, @b_pinter23.

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