O's designate De Aza as Flaherty returns from DL

O's designate De Aza as Flaherty returns from DL

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles reinstated infielder Ryan Flaherty from the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday and, to clear a roster spot, designated outfielder Alejandro De Aza for assignment.

Baltimore will now have 10 days to trade, release or outright De Aza. The 31-year-old batted .214/.277/.359 with three home runs and seven RBIs in 30 games with the Orioles this season.

"Good teammate, professional guy, worked hard at it and it bothered him that he couldn't get to what he was capable of," manager Buck Showalter said. "He showed flashes of it, and he will again."

The news is a bit of a surprise as it looked as if infielder Everth Cabrera could be the guy to go. But with Flaherty coming back from the DL and shortstop J.J. Hardy's recent back issue, the Orioles want to be able to cover themselves in the infield.

There's also a good chance that De Aza, who is making $5 million this season, could be traded, as executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said several clubs have interest. 

"We have some depth on the left-handed-hitting side of the roster," Duquette said. "We are going to see if his contract has some value with some other clubs."

Flaherty, 28, appeared in two rehab games with Triple-A Norfolk, going 0-for-5 with three walks, two RBIs, and a run scored. He was placed on the DL for the second time this season on May 12 with a right groin strain that he had re-tweaked. Flaherty went to down to Sarasota, Fla., to rehab prior to Norfolk, and worked on his agility in all directions.

"I tried to do a lot of defensive back drills like a football players would do, try to simulate agilities and stuff," Flaherty said. "And obviously on the baseball field, a lot of ground balls up the middle. And I was able to go 100 percent and I feel good."

Flaherty has hit .250/.372/.500 (9-for-36) with three doubles, two home runs, and four RBIa in 13 games with the Orioles this season.

Showalter acknowledged that this is one of a few moves that the Orioles will have coming up with Matt Wieters and Bud Norris making rehab starts at Double-A Bowie. Jonathan Schoop is also rehabbing in Florida and Kevin Gausman has begun throwing bullpens.

"We kind of got into a situation [where] we had to a move," Showalter said. "It's not going to be the first time, either. We're going to have some more of those coming up, some tough ones with other people coming back to us."

Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.