Orioles acquire shortstop Castro

July 20, 2008|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,Sun reporter

The Orioles continue to make adjustments to their shortstop position, acquiring Juan Castro from the Colorado Rockies' organization yesterday for Triple-A infielder Mike McCoy and placing him on the 25-man roster.

And they might not be finished.

Castro, 36, would be the sixth player to start at shortstop for the Orioles this season. One of the others, Freddie Bynum, was sent outright to Norfolk and has 72 hours to accept his assignment or become a free agent.

The trade was part of a busy day of roster shuffling for the Orioles, who also returned pitcher Randor Bierd from his injury rehabilitation assignment in the minors and activated him from the disabled list. Bierd, a Rule 5 pick who was bothered by a right shoulder impingement, went 0-1 with a 2.77 ERA in 11 games with the Gulf Coast team, Single-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie. He was 0-1 with a 2.03 ERA in nine games with the Orioles.

To make room for Bierd on the roster, the Orioles placed reliever Greg Aquino on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Sunday, with a strained left hamstring.

Castro, who was playing shortstop and second base with Triple-A Colorado Springs, made his Orioles debut in the seventh inning last night.

He has been a major league player for more than 11 years, beginning with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1995. He has had two stints with the Cincinnati Reds and made their Opening Day roster this season before going 0-for-10 in seven games and being released.

"I'm just happy to be back in the big leagues," said Castro, who has recovered from a hamstring injury.

The Orioles expressed interest in Castro after the Reds released him, but he signed a minor league deal with the Rockies and batted .300 in 18 games with Colorado Springs. He is a career .230 hitter in the majors.

"He fits our mold to the extent that we're looking for somebody who can play defense at that position primarily, potentially late-inning replacement, and just try to increase our options at that position," team president Andy MacPhail said.

McCoy, acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals on March 18, was batting .276 in 53 games at Norfolk.


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