FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Orioles reassigned outfielder Lew Ford to Minor League camp prior to Tuesday's game, whittling the spring roster to 37 as the Opening Day team starts to take shape.
"Obviously some of the dynamics of it changed yesterday," manager Buck Showalter said, referring to Wilson Betemit's right knee injury, which gives Ryan Flaherty a spot and opens up another reserve role.
"So there's some moving parts right now, ball's in the air. We will see. Lew has got a chance to help us again. Things have a way of changing very quickly…I'm hoping we can have him at Triple-A and get some at-bats for him. Obviously one more spot was created at [Triple-A] Norfolk yesterday because someone won't go down there."
The Orioles have nine non-roster invitees and the leading candidates for the final bench spot are Steve Pearce and Conor Jackson, both of whom could play first base and outfield, if needed.
Ford's reassignment, and the wealth of outfielders in Orioles camp this spring, will require a little roster maneuvering, and it's not out of the question for executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette to try to swing a trade involving one of them. Showalter would prefer to not go with a short bench, which would give them an extra pitcher, to start the season.
"It's five into seven now," Showalter said, referring to the numbers game with outfielders slated to play at Norfolk. "Still contemplating how they are going to do it. It's a good problem, but it's a challenge."
Ford was 15-for-37 (.405) with three doubles, two homers and six RBIs in 17 spring games.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less