Here’s the latest out of Baltimore:
- Neither Andrew Susac nor Carlos Perez will make the Orioles’ roster, Joe Trezza of MLB.com reports (Twitter links). The two out-of-options catchers had been vying for a roster spot on a team whose only 40-man catchers are Chance Sisco, the just-claimed Pedro Severino and the injured Austin Wynns. Even Sisco isn’t guaranteed a 25-man spot, as he may open the season at the Triple-A level, according to Trezza. That could open the door for fellow backstop Jesus Sucre, though there’s no word yet on his fate, per Trezza. The Orioles have to decide by Monday whether to keep Sucre, whose minor league deal includes an upward mobility clause. Should another team make Sucre an offer, he’d take it, Trezza suggests.
- Thanks in part to the Orioles’ murky situation behind the plate, their entire Opening Day battery is in question. While right-hander Alex Cobb’s penciled in to start Thursday’s opener against the Yankees, he’s now dealing with a strained right groin, Rich Dubroff of BaltimoreBaseball.com writes. Cobb’s no longer a certainty to take the ball in Game 1, though he indicated Saturday it’s not a serious injury, and he didn’t undergo an MRI. Cobb will throw a bullpen session Monday or Tuesday to determine whether he’ll be able to start Thursday. Whenever Cobb makes his initial start of the year, he’ll hope it’s the beginning of a bounce-back campaign. In 2018, the first season of a four-year, $57MM contract, he stumbled to a 4.90 ERA/4.80 FIP across 152 1/3 innings.
- In other unwelcome news for Baltimore, outfield prospect Austin Hays suffered a left thumb injury Saturday, Dan Connolly of The Athletic relays. Expectations are that the 23-year-old will undergo an MRI on Sunday or Monday, according to Connolly. In the meantime, the O’s are left to cross their fingers this isn’t another costly injury for Hays, who endured a truncated 2018 because of ankle issue. While Hays’ production at Double-A last year was nothing to write home about as a result, he’s still one of the O’s most promising prospects, and he nearly hit his way to a major league roster spot this spring. The Orioles elected to option Hays, however, because they believe he needs more seasoning in the minors. Now, if Hays has to start the year on the shelf, it’ll further delay a big league promotion.