The Orioles announced this evening they’ve designated outfielder DJ Stewart for assignment. The move clears a 40-man roster spot for right-hander Chris Ellis, who has been selected back to the majors. Baltimore optioned righty Marcos Diplán yesterday to clear space on the active roster.
Stewart has been in the Baltimore organization since they selected him 25th overall in the 2015 draft. A left-handed hitter with quality plate discipline and some power, he once profiled as a potential everyday left fielder. Stewart performed well up through Double-A, although his offensive production trended down once he hit Triple-A Norfolk for the first time in 2018.
Despite a .235/.329/.387 showing with Norfolk that year, Stewart got his first MLB call. He only appeared in 17 games, but he’d tally more than 100 trips to the plate in each of the next three seasons. Stewart hit seven homers with a massive 17.9% walk rate in 31 outings in 2020, but he’s otherwise posted below-average numbers. Last season, he tallied a career-high 318 trips to the plate and hit .204/.324/.374, popping 12 homers while walking nearly 14% of the time but striking out in 28% of his trips to the dish.
Paired with a lack of defensive value, Stewart’s low batting average eventually squeezed him out of the outfield mix in Baltimore. The O’s optioned him early this season, and they’ve now bumped him from the 40-man roster entirely. They’ll have a week to trade him or try to run him through waivers.
Ellis made six starts for Baltimore last season after they claimed him off waivers from the division-rival Rays. He posted a 2.49 ERA in 25 1/3 innings, but neither his 15.2% strikeout rate nor 12.4% walk percentage indicated he’d sustain that kind of run prevention. The O’s outrighted him off their 40-man roster at the end of the season, but Ellis quickly returned on a minor league pact.
So far this year, he’s made just one start with Norfolk. He worked four scoreless, hitless innings with five strikeouts and a walk. Ellis will take the ball tonight against the A’s for his first big league outing of the season.
I didn’t see a way back to the majors with the OF depth in the minors we have.
F in the chat
Sounds very similar to Christin Stewart..
You’re right but why?
Was he uncoordinated too?
Going back to DJing.
Someone will give DJ Stewart a shot
MT in Baltimore
Hope that he can get a chance somewhere and play more consistently. He never was able to do that in Baltimore.
He’s a very nice fellow, want him to do well.
I heard he’s pretty abrasive.
He got a pretty good run last year. A corner OF who plays bad defense and hits approximately league average isn’t going a profile that’s going to play.
how do you know he is `nice?`
Phillies love guys that walk
…and can’t play defense. He’s the perfect fit.
Peart of the game
Best bet is either KBO or NPB at this rate. Not good when arguably the worst team in MLB dumps you.
All foreign spots are filled at the moment in Korea and japan
He may have a spot as a 4th outfielder somewhere, but its really borderline. Another spectacular BUST by the Orioles!
What a great record the Orioles have with their first rounders.
DJ Stewart never lived up to the hype. Matt Wieters at the MLB level was a good player but not the near Johnny Bench level the Orioles hyped him to be. I’ll give them Machado, but you have to get past Billy Rowell and Josh Hart, et al. And the position players have been much better than the record they have with pitchers.
For a team that professes “grow the arms”, or at least gives that mantra as a way to explain why they don’t pay for good starting pitchers: busts including Brian Matusz, Hunter Harvey, Dylan Bundy, Garrett Olson, Adam Loewen. Ben McDonald underachieved compared to hype. You have to wonder how Mike Mussina had the HOF career he did, and if he would have been a 400 game winner had he been drafted by a competent organization.
Ed "The Mythical One"
The O’s have really banged out some winners with their top picks over the years. Machado was a no brainer pick and everyone in the world was sold on him as a hitter. I don’t really give them any credit for that pick. It was the obvious choice.
The Wieters hype train buried him before he even stepped onto the field. He was a very good MLB starter, but a far cry from the combination of Mike Piazza and Pudge Rodriguez.
Stewart has some things going for him. He is a lefty batter, has raw power, and does work counts and walks. His defense is a liability, but he is athletic. He’s not a lumbering slow guy, he’s just not a good fielder. He needs to really work on that if he wants a bubble spot on a roster as a platoon player. Some team seeking a bit of pop on the cheap might come calling.
Stewart is UNathletic. DL is clumsy and not in control of his body. Dude regularly injures himself when every other player would be fine. You can be fast or strong, but that does not make you `athletic.`
Ed "The Mythical One"
To be fair when you run knee first into a hard wall, most guys would not be fine after that. I think his other injury came when he tripped over one of the in the field of play, warm up pitching mounds? I’ve seen several players do this over the years and quite a few be hurt after that. He’s had some wacky injuries to be sure.
He is athletic. You can’t be UNathletic and play two sports at a fairly high level.
Orioles Mad Libs
Where parentheses are indicated, insert as directed.
Welcome to (current year) Orioles baseball! Well, the Orioles are in a rebuilding mode this year but we are really looking to make noise in (current year +2). We have (insert name of current top prospect) ready to come up from AAA and become the next all star! And don’t forget about (insert name of top 3 pitching “prospects”) who will be mainstays in the rotation for years to come! GM (insert name of current GM) is much superior to (insert name of previous GM) of building a team from the bottom up, and is busy helping the team with quality such as (insert name of cut-rate 6+ ERA pitcher) and (insert name of veteran on a cheap 1 year “prove it” deal) and (insert name of AAAA player) in order to make our team competitive! There is no way this team will lose (insert # between 100 and 115) games this year again! Meanwhile, please enjoy another year of us regurgitating the 1983 World Series winners.
Ed "The Mythical One"
It is both funny and sad because this is the absolute truth. I salute your creativity!
Ed – the sad thing is I created this in 2008 and slightly modified it…