The Orioles placed catcher James McCann on the 10-day injured list due to a left ankle sprain. This was one of a trio of moves announced by the club, as the O’s also selected the contract of catcher Jose Godoy and designated right-hander Reed Garrett for assignment to create a 40-man roster spot for Godoy’s arrival.
McCann suffered the injury in yesterday’s game while sliding into first base for an infield hit. The sprain forced McCann to make an early exit, and while it isn’t considered to be a serious injury, the Orioles have opted to place McCann on the IL just to provide him with enough time to fully heal. Teams only have so much flexibility with catchers with day-to-day types of injuries, especially in Baltimore’s case when Adley Rutschman is already playing basically every day as either a catcher or designated hitter.
Reflecting Rutschman’s workload, Godoy now looks to be the fifth different catcher to get some time behind the plate for the O’s this season. McCann has seen the bulk of the backup duty, though this is his second IL stint of the season, after he began the year with a brief absence due to a minor oblique strain. McCann has hit only .194/.232/.344 over an even 100 plate appearances, but as long as he continues his solid defense (including throwing out nine of 16 baserunners attempting to steal) as Rutschman’s understudy, the veteran will retain his backup spot.
Godoy was acquired in a trade with the Yankees earlier this month, and the 28-year-old figures to get his first MLB action of the season while McCann is sidelined. Godoy has appeared in 26 big league games with the Mariners, Pirates, and Twins since the start of the 2021 season, and he has also bounced around to several other clubs on waiver claims and minor league deals over the last three years.
The Orioles just selected Garrett’s contract earlier this week, and his tenure in Baltimore has thus far consisted of three runs allowed over 2 2/3 innings of relief work. Garrett signed a minors deal with the O’s in the offseason, and he has posted a 1.59 ERA and a 28.4% strikeout rate in 22 2/3 innings with Triple-A Norfolk. Garrett has been outrighted before, so if he clears DFA waivers and Baltimore wants to outright him off the 40-man roster, Garrett can opt to decline that assignment and become a free agent.