More Cuts Made; Lou Montanez

This morning, there were a few moves made, and there were two that caught my attention, although it looks like both were victims of numbers and spots being blocked by others…

From the Baltimore Sun: The Orioles just announced another round of cuts. Pitcher Radhames Liz and outfielder Lou Montanez have been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk and David Pauley has cleared waivers and been outrighted to the Tides roster.

Infielders Scott Moore and Oscar Salazar, pitcher Alberto Castillo and catcher Guillermo Rodriguez were reassigned to minor league camp, but will remain with the major league team for the rest of the exhibition season.

The latest round of cuts brings the Orioles down to 29 players with six days to go before Opening Day.

It sucks to see Scott Moore not make the roster after a hot Spring, but with the bat of Wigginton on the squad, along with the hustle of Ryan Feel, the tenured veterans won out. The good news is that Moore’s bat did a lot of talking and helped to improve his standing in the organization.

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However, the cut that really saddened me was of Lou Montanez — a guy who can flat out hit. If you look along the various blogs and websites, Lou is a fan favorite, and it’s all but universal that most are dismayed by his demotion.

Here’s what Montanez said about the move via Roch’s blog, and it goes without saying that he’s not happy at all:

From MASN: Montanez believes he should be playing in the majors, but he hears the numbers crunch. Being optioned to Triple-A Norfolk today hardly came as a shock.

“It’s expected,” he said after shaking hands with the three reporters who waited for him outside the clubhouse. “I knew what was going down. I know the circumstances. I know how options and all that stuff works. I know most of the rules of this, so it was expected. It didn’t catch me by surprise.

“I did my best and that’s all I can control. But I knew it was out of my control, so that’s why I’m not surprised I’m going down to Norfolk.

“Nothing comes easy in my career. Everything comes hard and I’ve had to earn everything. Even when I think I may have an opportunity, it’s always more difficult for me than for others.”

When asked whether he’s close to being ready for the majors, Montanez didn’t hesitate with his answer.

“I think I’m beyond close,” he said. “It’s just that the opportunity isn’t there right now. I know I’m ready to play. I feel like I could compete just as good as a lot of guys up there.

“Like yesterday, we were at the Mets game. There was a lot of chatter in our dugout about [Daniel] Murphy, how he’s a good player and he can hit. He’s going to be their starting left fielder, and I’m sitting in the dugout thinking, ‘He was in our league and I won the Triple Crown.’”

Montanez simply got caught in a numbers game. If not for the fact that Felix Pie is out of options and three years younger, I’d assume that Lou would have made the squad. It seems that he’s worked on his fielding along with his throwing arm — an item which he was criticized for last year — but the situation with the roster is what it is.

I guess the demotion could serve as a motivational device for Lou to tear it up in Norfolk and make the decision to bring him back up to the majors easy.

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