Simon on waivers
In a somewhat surprising move the Orioles have placed right-handed pitcher Alfredo Simon on outright waivers, two industry sources confirmed Friday evening.
Reached for comment, Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said the waiver process is confidential and confirmed in a text message that Simon is “on the roster”.
Technically, that is true. Simon is still on the 40-man roster and will be until he is claimed by another team or cleared, with the latter an unlikely scenario. Simon is a power pitcher who has served a myriad of roles for the Orioles, as a starter and reliever, and another club will almost certainly take a flier and claim him. The move is surprising given the Orioles lack of pitching depth and could be financially driven –since Simon’s salary would be picked up by the claiming team– particularly since the club feels Simon hasn’t pitched well enough for an Opening Day spot. Simon went 3-8 with a 4.96 ERA in 16 starts for the Orioles last season.
Simon has shown flashes of effectiveness, but has been unable to put together any sort of consistency. He was also set back this spring with a groin strain that caused him to leave March 18’s start earlier than anticipated. He struggled in his first outing back from the injury, going two innings on Wednesday and allowing six runs, and was seen mainly as a long relief option for the Orioles. The club could now use Chris Tillman in that role or stretch out one of their other relievers, with left-handed reliever Troy Patton –who is also out of options — another candidate for the role. The preference remains for Tsuyoshi Wada, who will start Tuesday, to remain a rotation candidate.
The Orioles have five right-handed relievers who have spots –in Jim Johnson, Kevin Gregg, Luis Ayala, Matt Lindstrom and Pedro Strop — and Simon being placed on waivers frees up a space for Tillman or both lefties –Patton and Phillips– to make the club. Sidearmer Pat Neshek is another pitcher who has impressed in camp, although he’s a Minor League deal and can be sent down without being placed on waivers. The Orioles are expected to add two non-roster players to the 40-man before Wednesday’s 5 p.m. deadline, in catcher Ronny Paulino and Nick Johnson, and placing Simon on waivers opens one spot. The Baltimore Sun first reported Friday that Simon had been placed on waivers.