The Orioles finally pulled the trigger and rid themselves of Garrett Atkins on Sunday, designating him for assignment to clear 25-man roster space for now-healthy reliever Koji Uehara. This via Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com.
Atkins had played in just six of the Orioles’ last 23 games, so the dump should come as no surprise.
The 30-year-old corner infielder was batting just .219/.282/.292 with one home run in 149 plate appearances. He signed a one-year, $4.5 million contract this offseason and the O’s will almost certainly have to eat all of that unless another team is crazy enough to step forward and take him on.
Atkins is likely to find a chance with another club once the O’s release him, but a change of scenery probably won’t cure much. He has regressed steadily since posting a .329/.409/.556 batting line, 29 home runs, 117 runs and 120 RBI in 2006. And he has never been much of a defender.
Last year he batted .226/.308/.342 in 399 plate appearances for the Rockies, so one could argue that the Orioles should have never handed him a contract in the first place. OK, we can all argue that.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.