The Orioles announced a last-minute move before tonight’s matchup with the Blue Jays. Catcher Mark Kolozsvary has been selected onto the big league roster while first baseman Ryan Mountcastle is headed to the 10-day injured list, retroactive to June 10, due to vertigo. In order to clear a 40-man roster spot, Baltimore designated minor league righty Noah Denoyer for assignment.
Kolozsvary is in position to make his O’s debut. Baltimore claimed him off waivers from the Reds at the start of the offseason. A few weeks later, they successfully passed him through waivers to keep him in the organization. He’s made 20 appearances for their top affiliate in Norfolk, hitting .162/.250/.265 with 26 strikeouts and five walks.
The 27-year-old backstop has never been much of an offensive threat. He’s a career .171/.283/.290 hitter at the Triple-A level. His glove secured him a 10-game MLB audition with Cincinnati last season. It’ll similarly land him at least a brief look in Baltimore behind Adley Rutschman and James McCann.
Mountcastle hasn’t played since August 8 because of an illness. Teams can backdate an IL placement for a maximum of three days. The O’s have decided to give the righty-swinging infielder at least another week to sort through vertigo symptoms that have apparently been plaguing him. It has been a tough season for Mountcastle, who carries a career-worst .227/.264/.421 batting line through 261 trips to the plate. Ryan O’Hearn and Josh Lester have gotten first base looks in his absence recently.
Denoyer landed a 40-man roster spot early last offseason. The 6’5″ hurler would otherwise have been eligible for the Rule 5 draft. He’d been coming off a 2.89 ERA showing across three minor league levels and the O’s were evidently concerned another team would take a shot on him as an MLB middle reliever.
His results have backed up this season, his first full year in Norfolk. Denoyer has tallied 30 1/3 innings across 14 outings (four starts), typically working 2-3 frame stints. He’s managed a 5.04 ERA. That’s largely a reflection of a massive spike in free passes. After walking just 6.1% of opponents last season, he has walked over 15% of batters faced this year. Denoyer’s 23.3% strikeout percentage and 48.8% ground-ball rate are still solid, but the newfound control issues pushed him off the roster.
Baltimore will trade him or put him on waivers within the next week. He’s in his first of three option years, so any team that takes a shot on him could keep him in the upper minors for the foreseeable future if they’re willing to put him on the 40-man.