The Orioles announced this morning they’ve selected righty Denyi Reyes onto the big league club. Travis Lakins Sr. was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk in a corresponding move, with Chris Ellis transferred from the 10-day to the 60-day injured list to clear space on the 40-man roster.
Should manager Brandon Hyde deploy Reyes during his MLB stint, he’d be making his major league debut. This isn’t the first time he’s made it onto a 40-man roster, however. Formerly a Red Sox’s prospect, Reyes occupied a spot on Boston’s 40-man from 2018-20. The Sox added him to the roster to keep him from being taken in the Rule 5 draft, and he spent the 2019 season with their Double-A affiliate in Portland. In January 2020, Boston designated Reyes for assignment and passed him through outright waivers without giving him a look against big league hitters.
Baseball America slotted the 6’4″ hurler the #18 prospect in the Boston farm system during his first winter on the 40-man. While he only worked with an 89-92 MPH fastball and a bevy of fringy secondary offerings, the outlet credited his plus control and ability to keep hitters off balance. For the most part, that profile has been reflected in his minor league numbers. Reyes carved up low minors hitters and has almost never walked batters at any level, but he didn’t miss many bats at Double-A in 2019 and struggled with the home run ball during his second crack there last year.
Reyes qualified for minor league free agency at the end of last season, and he signed a non-roster deal with Baltimore during Spring Training. He’s made three starts with Norfolk, allowing 11 runs in 12 innings. The 25-year-old has fanned an impressive 15 hitters while doling out just three free passes in that time, though, and the O’s will add him to the big league staff. Reyes adds a multi-inning option for Hyde in advance of a likely bullpen game this afternoon against the Cardinals.
Ellis’ transfer to the 60-day IL was a matter of when, not if. The 29-year-old righty underwent season-ending shoulder surgery last week. Re-signed to a minors contract over the winter, Ellis made two big league starts.