It’s a little early in the season for Buck Showalter’s two-inch rule. That was what he invoked last August when he declared that the Orioles would do anything that would help the club by “two inches” to win games.
With only Brian Roberts among the regular players sidelined in the season’s first month, that hasn’t stopped Showalter and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette from churning the bottom part of the roster.
Three players: infielder Yamaico Navarro, reliever Alex Burnett and catcher Luis Exposito were with the club for a combined total of five games without appearing.
They’ve used starters Josh Stinson and Zach Britton for just one appearance before dispatching them.
With so many major league ready players in the minors, this is hardly surprising. Last year, the “Norfolk Shuttle” didn’t begin operating in earnest until the Orioles’ 17-inning win in Boston that decimated their pitching staff.
This year, the Orioles are showing no patience with the last few players on the roster. Using them as fungible assets has yet to pay off.
Perhaps when Steve Johnson and Tsuyoshi Wada are ready to pitch for the Orioles and Roberts and Wilson Betemit return, the movement will slow down.
As long as there are quality players at Norfolk, and there seem to be many, the churning won’t stop.