The Orioles optioned infielder Danny Valencia to Triple-A Norfolk on Thursday night, trimming their Major League spring roster down to 44 in the process.
Valencia, 28, was acquired from the Boston Red Sox this winter and he went 10-for-31 with a homer and 4 RBIs in 17 Grapefruit League games. He is expected to be Norfolk’s third baseman.
Valencia hit .188 with a .199 on-base percentage and a .299 slugging percentage in 44 Major League games in 2012 with Boston and Minnesota. He placed third in American League Rookie of the Year Award voting in 2010 and enjoyed his best season in ’11, when he hit .246 with 15 home runs and led the Twins with 72 RBIs in 154 games. He also led Major League third basemen that season with 260 assists.
In 326 career plate appearances against left-handed pitchers, Valencia is a .316/.359/.472 hitter, and he posted a .226/.214/.377 line in 56 such plate appearances in the Majors last season.
The O’s now have 12 non-roster invitees remaining in camp.