The Orioles are talking openly about the opportunities that will be afforded their young players over the next two months.
The Chad Bradford assignment to Tampa Bay made it clear; the rebuilding plan is still in effect, and a number of prospects could get a look in the final two months of the season.
There will be spots open in the rotation. There will be opportunities if injuries like Adam Jones' continue to pile up. It's almost as if it's the Minor Leaguers' ball to drop at this point.
I hope they all got the memo: Play hard, because there are spots to fill on the Big Club's roster. Anybody could get the call at any moment.
Here's a case in point: Chris Waters. That call-up came out of nowhere. Dave Trembley admitted there was another AAA Norfolk pitcher (assumed to be Hayden Penn) ahead of Waters in the "next to be called up line," but Penn's leg was impaled by a broken bat on Saturday. Waters got the nod instead.
The 27-year-old jumped through the window of opportunity pitching eight scoreless innings on Tuesday. His teammates in AAA Norfolk should take note.
There's speculation that after Monday's start in Cleveland Dennis Sarfate will be moved back to the bullpen, and either Brad Bergeson or Hayden Penn (if he's healthy) could be called up. Trembley wouldn't confirm this, but did say Penn will most likely skip his next scheduled start in Norfolk to allow his leg to heal. Trembley also said Bergeson is being "watched very closely" in Triple-A.
This could be a big opportunity for the Orioles young arms.
One note: Trembley said Chris Tillman will not be called up this season. Andy McPhail's plan to allow the 20-year-old righty to develop in the Minor Leagues appears to be etched in stone.