MASN’s Roch Kubatko shares the good news:
The Orioles’ brain trust will meet tomorrow during the off-day and decide whether to activate second baseman Brian Roberts from the 60-day disabled list before Tuesday night’s game against the Pirates at Camden Yards.
Roberts must first make it through one final rehab game Sunday at Triple-A Norfolk, but that shouldn’t be a problem given that he’s already appeared in 13 minor league contests over the past two-plus weeks without experiencing any sort of symptoms related to his near-chronic post-concussion syndrome.
Roberts hasn’t played in the bigs since May 2011, but he has three seasons of 50-plus doubles and a decent .281/.353/.416 career line. He could provide a boost for the O’s, who remain in the mix atop the AL East.
The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.
Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.
Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.
Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.