Outfielder Kyle Stowers and catcher Anthony Bemboom are joining the Orioles in Toronto as part of the taxi squad, manager Brandon Hyde said. Right-handers Rico Garcia and Mike Baumann also joined Baltimore’s taxi squad for the road trip, arriving in Kansas City on Sunday.
“Could be more,” Hyde said. “We’ll see how the game plays out today and see where we are physically and take a few extra guys to Toronto.”
Stowers, a 24-year-old outfielder, is ranked as the No. 9 prospect in the Orioles’ pipeline. Stowers was selected in the second round of the 2019 draft out of Stanford, and he’s performed well for Triple-A Norfolk this season with a .253 average and 12 home runs.
Should Stowers make his MLB debut, he’ll join catcher Adley Rutschman and right-hander Kyle Bradish as top 10 prospects to feature for the Orioles this season. Even if he doesn’t play, Hyde views Stowers’ addition as a benefit.
“You don’t know what it’s like here until you get here,” Hyde said. “To see it up close, to see what a big league clubhouse feels like, it’s just a lot different when you get here. It’s just a nice way to see, for any young player, what this actually looks like, feels like, before they get on the field.”
Bemboom made way for Rutschman in late May, passing through waivers unclaimed before he was outrighted to Norfolk. In seven games for the Tides, he’s hitting .200. Teams tend to carry a catcher as part of the taxi squad.
Right-hander Beau Sulser, who was part of the taxi squad initially in Kansas City, traveled to Nashville to start for the Tides on Sunday. Garcia and Baumann can both add length out of the bullpen or as starters if required.
“I love the adrenaline rush of the phone ringing [in the bullpen] and hearing my name get called,” Baumann said. “It’s a nice little rush, going out there and letting it rip for a couple of innings.”
Garcia underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2021, and his buildup this season has been swift. He has appeared 10 times across High-A, Double-A and Triple-A levels this season, sporting a 1.93 ERA across 18 2/3 innings.
“Just staying healthy, competing,” said Garcia, who noted he hasn’t dealt with any pitch limitations yet. “Just trying not to do too much. Being able to come back and pitch on the field in games, it’s just something I haven’t been able to experience in a while because of the surgery. Being able to go out there and keep the intensity high is just something I’ve been looking forward to for a while.”
With the Orioles traveling to Toronto for a four-game series against the Blue Jays, unvaccinated players will be added to the restricted list. The club can replace those players with a player who’s not on the 40-man roster, and once the restricted list players are reactivated, no players need to pass through waivers.
Hyde said he will announce the restricted list Monday in Toronto. Last season, left-hander Keegan Akin and outfielder Anthony Santander were added to the restricted list.
“Hopefully we don’t have any injuries and we’ll reassess what the roster looks like,” Hyde said. “But we kind of want to get through the game today and then we’ll make decisions for who’s on the roster for Toronto tomorrow.”