Outfielder Anthony Santander and left-hander Keegan Akin were placed on the banned list on Monday and are not with the Orioles on their trip to Toronto to face the Blue Jays in the four-match series. Manager Brandon Hyde declined to address the banned list situation on Sunday while the team was still in Kansas City.
Due to Canadian federal policy, players who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine are unable to enter the country and play games against the Blue Jays at Rodgers Center. Akin and Santander declined to say whether they had been vaccinated last season. Both lost time on the COVID-specific injured list in 2021, although neither the team nor the players gave an exact reason for the moves, which required a positive test.
A day after adding him to the taxi squad, Baltimore selected outfielder Kyle Stowers and right-hander Rico Garcia from Triple-A Norfolk as substitute players. Stowers, a 24-year-old outfielder who has yet to make his major league debut, is ranked as the No. 9 prospect in the Orioles pipeline.
Santander won 10-7 against the Royals on Sunday and is an everyday outfielder for Baltimore. Without him in the lineup, the Orioles have a slew of options, including the Stowe. Hyde could use Ryan McKenna or Trey Mancini in the outfield as well as utility player Richie Martin.
Akin has played as a long reliever, although he allowed three single homers in his two innings on Sunday. The Orioles added right-handers Mike Baumann and Garcia to the taxi squad on Sunday, and either could help cover the innings in place of Akin.
When a player is added to the banned list, teams can replace them with a player on or off the 40-man roster – allowing Stowe and Garcia to have substitutes. Catcher Anthony Bemboom, who was named to the assignment and direct to Triple-A Norfolk after the waiver was cleared, also joined the Orioles as part of the taxi squad.
Once Akin and Santander are removed from the banned list, any players who replace them need not be exempted again to be sent back to the minors, even if they are on the 40-man roster.