Rumors had been circulating earlier in the week that Baltimore reliever Alfredo Simon would be released from a Dominican Republic jail within the next 7-10 days, allowing him to participate in spring training and be a part of the Orioles bullpen come Opening Day. Simon, charged with manslaughter in a fatal New Year’s Eve shooting, has been held without bail since January 3. However, city prosecutor Victor Mueses told ESPNDeportes’ Enrique Rojas that Simon will remain behind bars and that they have “strong evidence to incriminate him in this bloody event.”
Analysis: The 6’4 righty, who saved 17 games for a beleaguered O’s pen in 2010, was placed on the team’s Restricted List this past Friday. The stories of his potential release spread quickly, and a level of optimism surfaced among the team as well as the Baltimore faithful. Unfortunately for Simon, these rumors appear to have lacked validity and his future in professional baseball is once again in question. Hopefully this situation is rectified in a timely fashion, and justice is served one way or another.
Projection: Expected to compete for a late-inning role this spring, it now looks as if Simon will be a non-factor for the fans at Camden as well as Fantasy owners. If the newly acquired Kevin Gregg becomes Buck Showalter’s choice to close out games, this most likely leaves the setup man competition between Mike Gonzalez and Koji Uehara. Although the team was high on Simon’s arm and was looking forward to his progression, this new development is certainly not a crushing blow to a roster that has been restocked and should make some noise – even in the AL East. Maintain a watchful eye on how the 8th and 9th inning spots shake out on Buck’s list throughout camp, but scratch Simon’s name off of your depth charts.