Could the end of the Garrett Atkins era be near? The Orioles have recalled 1B/OF Rhyne Hughes from Norfolk today, but the move has not yet been made official so we don't know who will be leaving the 25-man roster. Speculation has initially focused on Alberto Castillo, Justin Turner or Julio Lugo, and each makes some sense. Castillo is the last man up in a larger-than usual bullpen (and I assume he can be optioned), Turner can be optioned, and Lugo is... well, Julio Lugo. But I'll suggest three other candidates:
1) Garrett Atkins - He's awful. In 60 plate appearances, he's walked twice and struck out 12 times. Plus, Hughes plays his position. He gets my vote.
2) Jason Berken - Berken has actually thrown well, but he, too, can be optioned. The O's may not need/want an extra long man right now.
3) Will Ohman - Again, the O's have an extra pitcher in the bullpen right now, and Ohman can't seem to throw strikes. Which, of course, he couldn't do last year, either. If he's not the guy today, he'd be my choice to go when the O's make a move for a 5th starter next week.
The moral of the story? It's probably not a good sign if your team is making a roster move and there are six legitimate candidates to be optioned or released.