ARLINGTON, Tex. -- A little over two years after he signed with the Orioles, Cuban defector Dariel Alvarez has reached the major leagues. Alvarez had his contract purchased by the Orioles on Friday, and he’s batting eighth and playing right field.
The 26-year-old Alvarez batted .275 with 16 home runs and 72 RBIs for the Tides.
“Two days ago, they told me I was coming over here. I was so happy I didn't know what to say,” Alvarez said through Einar Diaz, the Orioles assistant hitting coach, who served as his translator.
“It was tough early in the season. I never stopped working, got help from all the coaches over [at Triple-A] and it was a good thing I never gave up. Now I’m here,” Alvarez said.
He credits his success to Norfolk hitting coach Sean Berry
“We started talking about having better discipline at the plate. And swing at good pitches, and that’s what I did. I got better pitches [after that] and my numbers went up,” Alvarez said.
“It’s a dream come true. I’m so happy, I thank my family and this organization. I’m so happy right now, I can’t believe it.”
Ironically, fellow Cuban Henry Urrutia was optioned to Norfolk to make room for Alvarez. Urrutia hit .265 with a home run and six RBIs in 10 games. The two roomed together with the Tides.
“When they called him to the big leagues I was so happy for him. That motivated me to work hard and come here. We always talk about that. I was really happy for him,” Alvarez said.
Manager Buck Showalter wouldn’t commit to bringing Urrutia back to the Orioles after the rosters expand.
“We’ll see if they if they’re good for us. We’re not just going to call bodies up. They’re going to have to be somebody we thank can contribute,” Showalter said.
Steve Clevenger was activated from the paternity list. His daughter, Peyton Lee was born in Baltimore on Tuesday.
While his wife and daughter were in the hospital, Clevenger went to Oriole Park and take some swings off the hitting machine, and then return to be with them.
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