The Orioles announced that veteran outfielder Craig Gentry has been outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk in order to clear a spot on the active roster for Welington Castillo, who has been reinstated from the disabled list. The 33-year-old Gentry will have the option of rejecting that outright assignment in favor of free agency if he wishes.
[Related: Updated Baltimore Orioles depth chart]
Castillo’s return means that Baltimore is now carrying three catchers, as both Caleb Joseph and Francisco Pena (the latter of whom is out of minor league options) remain on the big league roster. And, as MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli points out, this move also means that Baltimore will (presumably briefly) utilize a six-man bullpen. Certainly, it seems likely that the O’s will look to get back to a seven-man bullpen in the near future.
Gentry, long a light-hitting defensive standout, has appeared in 33 games for the O’s this season but received just 44 plate appearances, with the result being a lackluster .162/.256/.270 batting line. Gentry’s struggles at the plate in limited action aren’t a new development, as he’s endured similar difficulties both 2015 and 2016.
Prior to that, he turned in a solid four-year stretch with the Rangers and A’s, during which he batted a combined .278/.353/.355 (plus 75 stolen bases in 87 attempts). The right-handed-hitting Gentry has a track record of posting useful numbers against left-handed pitching and could remain with the O’s as a depth option or latch on with a new club in need of some defensive-minded outfield depth.