The Orioles announced that they have selected the contract of infielder/outfielder Josh Lester from Triple-A. In corresponding moves, righty Dillon Tate was moved to the 60-day injured list, and left-hander Danny Coulombe was placed on the bereavement list.
Lester was a 13th-round pick for the Tigers in the 2015 draft, and he spent his entire career in Detroit’s organization until this past offseason, when he elected to become a minor league free agent rather than an accept an outright assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Lester’s stint in Motown at least culminated in his Major League debut, as he appeared in two games for the Tigers last season.
After catching on with Baltimore on a minor league deal, Lester has been crushing Triple-A pitching, hitting .282/.339/.549 with 14 homers over 231 plate appearances at Norfolk. Even with all of the star prospects in the Orioles’ farm system, it could be that the O’s prefer giving what might be a brief stint in the majors to a more experienced player, rather than interrupt the development of a more long-term asset. It’s hard to argue that Lester’s slash line wasn’t worth at least another cup of coffee in the Show, and he’ll provide some depth as a corner infielder and corner outfielder.
Tate suffered a flexor strain back in November and hasn’t yet pitched in the majors in 2023, but he has logged 10 appearances in the minors as he works his way back. The move to the 60-day IL doesn’t impact Tate’s timetable, as the 60-day placement retroactively applies to his initial 15-day placement on Opening Day.