The Orioles finalized their Opening Day roster this morning, selecting the contract of catcher Anthony Bemboom in the process. Lefty John Means, recovering from Tommy John surgery, was placed on the 60-day injured list to open a spot on the 40-man roster. Baltimore also placed catcher James McCann on the 10-day IL with an oblique strain and placed righties Dillon Tate (flexor strain) and Mychal Givens (left knee inflammation) on the 15-day IL.
Bemboom, 33, appeared in 22 games with the O’s in 2022 and posted a .115/.207/.212 batting line in a tiny sample of 59 plate appearances. He’s a career .160/.231/.265 hitter in 203 big league plate appearances, but he’s drawn plus defensive and framing grades while thwarting 40% of stolen base attempts against him. Bemboom is out of minor league options, so it could be a relatively brief stay on the 40-man roster once McCann is up to full strength.
The Orioles announced early in camp that Tate had suffered a forearm strain back in November during his offseason program and was likely to miss the first month of the season. The latest timetable indicated a potential mid-May return for the righty, who broke out with 73 2/3 innings of 3.05 ERA ball and served as one of the Orioles’ top late-inning arms in 2022.
McCann, acquired from the Mets over the winter, was expected be a backup to star young catcher Adley Rutschman but reported feeling tightness in his side earlier this week. The Orioles haven’t given a timeline, but even grade 1 oblique strains can cause players to miss around a month of action. The O’s have McCann under contract for two more seasons, though the Mets are picking up the majority of the bill. McCann hit just .220/.282/.328 in two seasons with the Mets, but .258/.325/.452 hitter against lefties who could benefit from more selective usage in with his new team.
Givens returned to the O’s on a one-year, $5MM contract over the winter but last pitched in a spring game on March 16. He was testing his ailing knee earlier in the week but lasted only 10 pitches before departing the mound and showing visible frustration (per MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubtako). There’s no timetable on his return just yet. Givens, who spent the first five and a half seasons of his career with the Orioles, split the 2022 season between the Cubs and Mets. He pitched to a strong 3.38 ERA with a 27.3% strikeout rate and 9.6% walk rate through 61 1/3 innings between the two teams.