8/31/2014 6:30 P.M. ET
De Aza excited to join O's, pennant race
By Brittany Ghiroli and David Wilson / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- The beginning of Alejandro De Aza's tenure with the Orioles didn't go quite as planned. The outfielder missed his flight from Chicago to Baltimore on Sunday, which meant he wouldn't be able to start as expected. In fact, the O's didn't even plan on activating him until Monday after he missed the first flight.
But about half an hour before the Orioles began an eventual 12-8 win against the Twins, the O's changed their mind. De Aza was added to the active roster and he arrived at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in the fourth inning. Baltimore opted not to use him -- manager Buck Showalter didn't make any offensive substitutions during the game -- so his debut will have to wait one more day.
"It's exciting," De Aza said. "And I'm glad to be here and I'm glad to be part of this team."
To make room for De Aza, the O's optioned relief pitcher T.J. McFarland to Class A Short-Season Aberdeen. McFarland can return on Tuesday once Aberdeen's season is complete and rosters have expanded to allow 40 players.
De Aza, who was acquired in a trade with the White Sox on Saturday, has a .276/.343/.404 line against right-handed pitchers this season, and the lefty has particularly good numbers against Minnesota, batting .340/.364/.528 in 14 games. He didn't have a chance to speak to Showalter during the game to get any more specific insight on his role in Baltimore.
"I'm just here to help the team win," De Aza said. "I can't describe what can I do. What I'm saying is I'm here to win."
De Aza's excited to join a first-place club and become teammates with a handful of players he knows, including Jonathan Schoop, Nelson Cruz and Ubaldo Jimenez.
He knows it's an honor that a team with World Series aspirations finds him useful, but it's bittersweet to leave Chicago, where he played for more than four seasons.
"It's great," De Aza said. "At the same time, I got to know a lot of people there, but this is the game. This is part of the business. One day you're here, another day you can be somewhere else."
Saunders, Webb among likely September callups
BALTIMORE -- A pair of trades the Orioles made on Saturday changed the team's needs ahead of September callups, but there are still some spots that can be filled, and the O's will begin the process of expanding their roster on Monday.
Manager Buck Showalter said the Orioles will add a pair of pitchers on Monday and bring in two position players, including catcher Steve Clevenger, on Tuesday. Clevenger was optioned to Class A Short-Season Aberdeen on Sunday to make room for Wei-Yin Chen to be recalled from the Gulf Coast League Orioles ahead of his start. Once Aberdeen's season ends on Sunday, Baltimore can recall Clevenger without waiting the usual 10 days.
Relief pitcher Ryan Webb will likely be one of the arms added, and starting pitcher-turned-reliever Joe Saunders is a candidate to be the other. Webb played most of the season with the O's before being sent to Triple-A Norfolk when Baltimore acquired relief pitcher Andrew Miller at the Trade Deadline. He posted a 3.80 ERA in 42 appearances with the O's.
Saunders, who was released by both the Rangers and Royals this season, signed with the Orioles on Aug. 5 and has a 1.50 ERA in 10 appearances for Norfolk. He started for Baltimore in the American League Card Game against the Rangers in 2012.
The O's will have to add Saunders to the 40-man roster before activating him. There's currently one open spot on the roster, and another could become available if the Orioles move injured third baseman Manny Machado to the 60-day disabled list.
Relief pitcher Preston Guilmet, who is on the 40-man roster, is also a possibility to be added for his seventh stint in the Majors this season.
"We have plenty of room," Showalter said.
Baltimore will also activate pitcher Kevin Gausman ahead of Monday's game to make his scheduled start.
A day later, after all Minor League seasons have finished, the O's will add some bats. Clevenger will come back, and the Orioles will bring some depth with him. Catcher Mike Ohlman, second baseman and outfielder Steve Lombardozzi, and designated hitter Henry Urrutia are the remaining position players on the 40-man roster. Cord Phelps, Quintin Berry, Dariel Alvarez and Christian Walker are among the non-roster candidates to be added in September.
Those that aren't added could head to Sarasota, Fla. Showalter said about 10 players will head down there to be part of Baltimore's September taxi squad
"We've made that list," Showalter said.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.