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Orioles Select Pat Valaika

sportsman

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The Orioles announced they’ve selected infielder Pat Valaika back to the big league roster. Baltimore also recalled righty Marcos Diplán from Triple-A Norfolk. Left-hander Tanner Scott has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a left knee sprain, while utilityman Jorge Mateo was placed on the 60-day IL due to right lumbar inflammation.

Valaika has logged substantial big league action with the O’s in each of the last two seasons. He flashed some intriguing power potential last year, popping eight home runs in 150 plate appearances en route to a solid .277/.315/.475 showing. But he struggled badly over a slightly longer look this year, posting a .192/.251/.280 line over 212 trips to the dish. He was designated for assignment and passed through outright waivers last month. Valaika will be eligible for arbitration this offseason, but given his disappointing season, he looks like a non-tender candidate.

Baltimore grabbed Mateo off waivers from the Padres last month, with the rebuilding O’s in a far better position than the win-now Padres to give regular playing time to the former top prospect. (Mateo is out of minor league option years, so he’d spent much of his San Diego tenure in a bench role). The 26-year-old showed fairly well in his look with the Orioles, hitting .280/.328/.421 with a pair of homers and five stolen bases over 116 plate appearances. His season comes to a premature end because of the injury, but he’s seemingly done enough to warrant a spot on Baltimore’s 40-man roster over the upcoming offseason.

Unlike Mateo, Scott isn’t officially ruled out for the rest of the year by his IL placement. Nevertheless, manager Brandon Hyde suggested to reporters (including Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com) the hard-throwing reliever is unlikely to make it back this season. Scott appeared in 62 games and tossed 54 innings of 5.17 ERA ball, striking out a solid 27.9% of opponents but issuing walks at an elevated 14.7% clip. He’ll be eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason.
 
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