The Orioles have chosen their initial reinforcements for the two additional spots they will have for the remainder of the regular season.
Baltimore will call outfielder Colton Cowser and reliever Joey Krehbiel on Friday, a source confirmed to the Baltimore Sun. Both have already appeared for the Orioles this season and were already on the club’s 40-man roster.
Baltimore’s No. 2 prospect according to Baseball America, Cowser struggled in his first major league stint, going 7-of-61 (.115) with an OPS of .433 in July and August. But the 23-year-old has hit .314/.440/.524 in 69 games for Triple-A Norfolk this season. A left-handed hitter, Cowser offers depth at all three points in the outfield. Once Cowser officially returns, all of the Orioles’ top six prospects entering the 2022 season will be on their major league roster.
The Orioles could very well have used the two extra spots on the pitchers if they weren’t limited to a maximum of 14 on the roster. Krehbiel, a 30-year-old right-hander, retired all five major league hitters he faced this year with two strikeouts. He has spent most of 2022 in the Baltimore bullpen, with a 3.90 ERA in 56 appearances.
There’s no guarantee Cowser and Krehbiel will stay on the roster for the rest of the season. Outfielder Aaron Hicks (lower back sprain) and southpaw John Means (recovering from Tommy John’s elbow reconstruction) are scheduled to be taken off the injured list in early September. The Orioles will also likely look to keep a new arm available in the last spot in their bullpen, with right-handers Tyler Wells, Bryan Baker and Mike Baumann and left-hander Nick Vespi all being relief options already on the 40-man roster.
The Orioles could also bring in players not on their 40-man roster, like outfield/first baseman prospect Heston Kjerstad, during this stretch. Players generally must be on the 40-player roster or 60-day IL to be eligible for the playoff roster, but any player already in the org on that date can still be made eligible if they replace a player who has spent the required amount. minimum time on the IL.
Although the Los Angeles Angels have placed several players on waivers in recent days, none of them have been able to travel to Baltimore. The Cleveland Guardians claimed starting pitcher Lucas Giolito and relievers Matt Moore and Reynaldo Lopez, while the Cincinnati Reds added outfielder Hunter Renfroe while also claiming outfielder Harrison Bader from the New York Yankees; Angels outfielder Randal Grichuk was not claimed. The waiver order is based on reverse seeding, meaning the Orioles, with the best record in the American League, trailed only the Atlanta Braves.
MASNSports.com first reported Cowser and Krehbiel’s upcoming promotions.