Orioles designate Pedro Alvarez for assignment

FILE - In this April 21, 2018, file photo, Baltimore Orioles' Pedro Alvarez walks off the field after striking out swinging to end the third inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians in Baltimore. Alvarez, on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, has been designated for assignment by the Orioles, who are shuffling the roster in an attempt to improve upon the worst record in the big leagues. The 31-year-old Alvarez had a .181 batting average with eight home runs and 18 RBIs in 45 games. He was in a 1-for-18 skid since his last multi-hit game, on May 24. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Pedro Alvarez designated for assignment by Orioles after batting .181 in 45 games

WASHINGTON — Pedro Alvarez has been designated for assignment by the Baltimore Orioles, who made several moves Tuesday in an attempt to improve a team with the worst record in the big leagues.

The 31-year-old Alvarez had a .181 batting average with eight home runs and 18 RBIs in 45 games. Used mostly as a designated hitter, he was in a 1-for-18 skid since his last multihit game, on May 24.

"Pete's a good man. He's a good teammate," manager Buck Showalter said. "With the potential of some other people returning (from the disabled list), there just weren't going to be any at-bats for him."

It was not a surprising move, given the Orioles entered play Tuesday with a 20-50 record.

"It's unfortunate for Pedro," closer Zach Britton said. "With where we are in the standings, the organization needs to see what we've got with some of the young guys."

As a corresponding move, the Orioles selected the contract of infielder Steve Wilkerson from Triple-A Norfolk, whose first appearance will be his major league debut.

"This is a very special moment," Wilkerson said. "Regardless of how my season started, I'm very happy and very fortunate to be here right now."

In December, Wilkerson received a 50-game suspension for a violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Plan.

"It was a very difficult time," he acknowledged. "I made the decision at that time to try to put my best foot forward."

In addition, Baltimore recalled catcher Caleb Joseph from Norfolk. Joseph began the season as the Orioles' starting catcher but was optioned to the minors on May 17 after batting .182 in 24 games.

Joseph joins his brother, Corban Joseph, on the Baltimore roster. Corban Joseph was summoned from Norfolk last week and played in his first big league game since a two-game stint with the Yankees in 2013.

Standing side by side outside the Orioles clubhouse, the brothers relished the notion of being major league teammates.

"The first goal was to get to the big leagues at the same time, and then to be on the same team, this is a storybook (tale) for our family," Caleb said. "It's pretty incredible."

Corban added: "It's like a dream that you never thought would actually come true actually panning out."

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