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  • Writer's pictureGrant DeVivo

Orioles MiLB Transaction Update: March 30

Orioles affiliates place players on injured list, release others

As each Orioles Minor League affiliate finalizes their rosters, more roster moves and transactions are occuring within the organization. Here is a brief breakdown of the recent moves made within the Orioles' Minor League system.

Player Movement

Billy Cook got a well-deserved promotion to Triple-A Norfolk yesterday.

Prior to the Tides' 12-8 Opening Day win, utility man Billy Cook was promoted from Double-A Bowie to Norfolk. The 25-year-old deserves every bit of this promotion after having an incredible season in Double-A last year. He had a 20 homer/20 stolen bases season while slugging .456 and often coming through in late-game clutch situations for the Baysox. I was really happy to see Cook get bumped up and then have a 2-hit game in his Triple-A debut. The Orioles have a bright spirit in Cook on the rise, someone that could sneak up on fans (and win them over) and fill in numerous roles at the big league level with the way he hits. Expect to see Cook's name quite frequently on Learning To Fly.

Injured List

The following players have been placed on the injured list.

Vavra has been dealing with shoulder issues dating back to last season. A shoulder strain kept him on the IL for the majority of the season, and he missed the majority of Spring Training as he attempted to rehab it at the Minor League complex in Sarasota, Florida. He has been placed on the IL and will use the extra time to get healthy. It's another setback in Vavra's development. A key piece in the 2020 Mychal Givens trade, he has already been outrighted off the Orioles' 40-man roster. As the speedy contact hitter looks to work his way back onto the Orioles' roster, these unfortunate shoulder injuries are not helping his case.

The injuries obtained by the other players remains unknown.

Development List

The Tides have transferred two players to the developmental list. They are:

The developmental list was introduced in 2021 and is designed as an alternate form of training and improvement opportunities for Minor Leaguers. McSweeney joins the list after posting a 5.48 ERA in 46 inning for the Tides last season. He had a 10.80 ERA in Spring Training this year. Fontana, an outfielder in a crowded outfield in Norfolk, is on the list after batting .263 between Bowie and Norfolk last season. He stole 20 bases and posted a .762 OPS.

Players Released

The following players have been released from the Orioles organization.

Jensen Elliott was recently released by the Orioles. Best wishes, Jensen! Photo: John Topoleski

Elliott's release surprised me. He could have made a name for himself in the race to make the Orioles' bullpen. With a funky delivery and arm slot, e put up decent numbers in four seasons with the organization, posting a 3.59 ERA and a 1.373 WHIP. Injuries derialed his 2023 season and in a pinnacle time in player development (at Double-A ball) where the Orioles are looking deep into who could help the big league team win games, the organization ultimately decided to part ways with Elliott. It's a shame because there was potential, but injuries had to get in the way.

Carter spent three seasons in the organization. He tossed 79.1 innings during those three seasons and got roughed up for a 6.24 ERA. He walked 46 batters while allowing 12 home runs, and he had a 1.6356 WHIP. However, he did have 96 punchouts. Craig also spent three seasons in Birdland. The Atlanta, Georgia native hit .267 and posted a .728 OPS while also demonstrating speed with 24 stolen bases. Perhaps he can latch on somewhere else and grow into another team's outfield plans. It just wouldn't have happened in Birdland with the surplus of outfield talent already on hand.

It stinks to see guys get released. Best wishes to these guys in their next chapter in baseball. I hope they are able to secure a new contract with a new team.

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