The Orioles began paring down their spring roster for the first time March 7, sending three pitchers out of major league camp.
The O's optioned left-handed pitcher Mike Belfiore to Triple-A Norfolk -- which, for now, means he will report to minor league camp -- and reassigned non-roster right-hander Tim Alderson and lefty Nick Additon to minor league camp.
Belfiore, 25, appeared in two Grapefruit League games, giving up one run and five hits in two innings. He has one game of big league experience, working 1.1 innings against the Red Sox Sept. 27, 2013. The O's acquired him from the Diamondbacks May 12, 2012, for infielder Josh Bell.
Belfiore's bid for an Opening Day bullpen spot didn't last long, and he's now essentially out of the competition to replace suspended left-handed reliever Troy Patton for the first 25 games. That increases the chances of southpaws Zach Britton or Kelvin De La Cruz claiming a relief job, if manager Buck Showalter wants a second lefty in the bullpen alongside Brian Matusz, who is also being considered for a starting role.
Alderson, 25, got off to a rocky start this spring, giving up five runs in one inning during his two appearances during exhibition play. The O's acquired Alderson from the Pirates July 12, 2013, in exchange for minor league infielder Russ Canzler, then re-signed him as a minor league free agent this offseason. Alderson -- a first-round draft pick by the Giants in 2007 -- has yet to make his big league debut.
Additon, too, has no major league experience. A former 47th-round draft pick in 2006, Additon, 26, spent the first seven years of his career in the Cardinals' organization before joining the Orioles this winter. He made two appearances this spring, giving up two runs in two innings.
With these three cuts, the Orioles now have 59 players in major league camp, including 19 non-roster invitees.