The Orioles activated shortstop José Iglesias from the injured list Thursday, returning one of their most important bats to the lineup. Iglesias had been sidelined with left quad soreness since Aug. 18. He was slated to DH and bat third on Thursday, but the O's and Rays opted not to play in solidarity with other MLB teams and in protest of social injustice. The game will be made up at a later date.
The club also optioned rookie left-hander Keegan Akin and rookie infielder Ramón Urías to their alternate training site in Bowie, Md., and it selected the contract of right-hander Cesar Valdez. If Valdez, 35, gets into a game, it’ll be the right-hander’s first MLB appearance since 2017 with Toronto. He profiles as a long man in manager Brandon Hyde’s bullpen.
The O's also announced outfielder Dwight Smith Jr., who was designated for assignment over the weekend, had cleared waivers and been outrighted to Bowie.
Signed to a one-year (with option) free-agent deal last offseason, Iglesias hit .400 with nine doubles and a .977 OPS over his first 16 games with the Orioles, playing through back and quad issues. He’d been experiencing left quad soreness since Opening Week.
The Orioles' offense has sagged considerably since Iglesias went on the IL earlier this month. In the 13 games he’s started, the club has averaged 5.3 runs per game. They’ve averaged just 3.7 over their past 10 without Iglesias in the lineup.