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O's make anticipated roster moves

O's make anticipated roster moves

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KANSAS CITY -- The possible roster moves manager Dave Trembley has discussed the past two days are finally starting to materialize.

The Orioles selected the contract of infielder Alex Cintron on Sunday from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned reliever Bob McCrory to Norfolk. The move gives Baltimore 13 position players and 12 pitchers, which is the roster makeup Trembley desires for an upcoming stretch when the club has three off-days in a period of eight days.

Cintron had been hitting .288 in 16 games with Norfolk after the O's signed him to a Minor League contract on March 31. He last played in the Majors with the Chicago White Sox last season, hitting .243 as a utility infielder.

"I'm just glad they took the chance," Cintron said, "and now I have to prove myself."

He'll be a utility player with Baltimore, likely coming off the bench to play mainly second base and shortstop. Trembley said that Freddie Bynum, who joined the roster on Thursday, is the starting shortstop unless he shows he can't do it anymore.

Cintron might have been able to have this role much sooner. In the offseason, he nearly signed with the Orioles until his agent talked him into signing with the Cubs at the last minute. Cintron didn't make the Chicago roster and elected to become a free agent. That's when he decided to sign with the O's in late March.

Cintron said he wanted to be in Baltimore in the first place. Former second baseman Roberto Alomar, a friend since back in their days with the Diamondbacks, told him it was a great place to play before he decided to sign with Chicago.

"I can't look at the past," Cintron said. "I'm happy with what happened and getting released."

Cintron will give the Birds an extra bat on the roster, something they badly need right now. Brian Roberts and Ramon Hernandez are each still nursing day-to-day injuries. Trembley said they could've been ready for Sunday and will be back soon, but the presence of Cintron means the Orioles bench will have more depth.

McCrory was the obvious odd man out to make room for Cintron. The first-year reliever hadn't pitched in a game since May 1 and had given up four runs in just two-thirds of an inning.

"He's worked on what he needs to work on," Trembley said. "I think they straightened out his delivery. [He'll go back to Triple-A and] just go pitch. He's got a big league arm. ... I'm sure we'll see him again."

Trembley's roster moves may be complete, but his lineup shakeup isn't finished yet. He made his decision on the pitching rotation for the upcoming stretch of three off-days in an eight-day period -- he's just not telling anyone what it is yet. Trembley said he'd announce the starters for next weekend's series against Washington on Tuesday.

Mark Dent is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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