Hughes to Norfolk, now what?

BALTIMORE– Following Saturday’s 8-2 loss, the Orioles optioned rookie Rhyne Hughes back to Triple-A Norfolk.

Hughes did not play in Saturday’s game but had been marred in a a 3-for-24 skid with 12 strikeouts in his last eight games. Following April 24′s recall from Norfolk, Hughes got off to a blistering start, going 5-for-13 and setting a new Orioles rookie record with an RBI in each of his first three games. He became just the second player in franchise history to begin his Major League career with a pair of multi-hit games and an RBI, but wasn’t able to maintain anything close to that initial success.

“Of course it’s disappointing you never want to get sent down or anything like that,” Hughes said. “But it’s OK; just going to go down there [to Norfolk] and try to do what I was doing before just to be ready whenever they need me again.”

Prior to Saturday’s game, Orioles manager Dave Trembley noted that Hughes’ mechanics were “drifting” and said he was swinging underneath the ball and choosing bad pitches. Hughes –who took early extra batting practice Saturday afternoon — will try to regain his swing when he joins the Tides on Tuesday.

At the time of his promotion, Hughes was ranked among the International League top 10 in slugging percentage, batting average and on-base percentage and admitted on Saturday night that he had started to get away from what was working at the plate.

“I just had a rough spot, that’s all,” Hughes said. “You know, some things I wasn’t doing the way I was doing before. Just need to get back to doing it.”

The Orioles won’t announce a corresponding roster move until Sunday, and could add a reliever instead of another position player to fill Hughes’ spot. They could also make a waiver wire pick-up given that both Pat Burrell and Ryan Garko were on waivers on Saturday.

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