On Thursday, the Baltimore Orioles could potentially be facing a very tough decision, as they will have to decide whether to activate outfielder Francisco Peguero or place him on waivers and hope no one picks him up.
Peguero, 25, has been on a MLB Rehab assignment with the AAA Norfolk Tides and his 20-game deadline for time spent on a rehab assignment ends on Thursday, thus the dilemma for the Orioles. He was placed on the DL prior to the season with a wrist injury.
What makes the decision tough for Baltimore is three fold, with the obvious being that if they place him on waivers, they could lose him. The other two are perhaps more important in regards to the here and now.
Peguero has been playing extremely well with the Tides, and was recently named the International League's Player of the Week ending 5/25 thanks to his performance of hitting .458 with three doubles and four RBI during the week. In addition, Peguero is hitting .338 with four doubles, nine RBI and a .387 OBP in 68 at bats.
In addition, is the complimentary fact that David Lough has been absolutely brutal at the plate and his defense has been hit or miss. Lough, who like Peguero, is also out of options, thus in order for the Orioles to keep him would be for him to clear waivers, which seems to be unlikely, so it is not as if Baltimore can simply option him to Norfolk. Lough is hitting .161 with two doubles, one triple, three RBI and five stolen bases in 87 at bats.
Another scenario that some are thinking is to have Peguero take Delmon Young's place, but Young is one of the best options for the Orioles against left handed pitchers and Young is hitting .288 with on home run, four doubles, and six RBI in 73 at bats. He too cannot simply be optioned, and a team would certainly pick him up if he were to be designated for assignment, and there is no way of knowing that if he did clear waivers, that he would accept an assignment to Norfolk.
Yesterday, the Tides played a double header and Peguero sat out both games as he is apparently dealing with a hamstring issue now, which muddies the situation.
Ultimately, only Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter really know what they will ultimately decide, but it is tough to ignore the potential offensive upgrade of Peguero over the likes of Lough and after they decided to option Steve Clevenger instead of Caleb Joseph yesterday, anticipating a move is becoming even more tough.
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