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Orioles activate Jorge López amid roster moves: Aaron Hicks returns, Austin Voth DFA’d, Colton Cowser optioned

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Jorge López is back.

The Orioles on Sunday activated the 2022 All-Star reliever after claiming him off waivers from the Miami Marlins on Saturday.

López joins a bullpen in need of high-leverage arms, and the right-hander could use a change of scenery after struggling with the Minnesota Twins and Miami Marlins this season. The right-hander saved 19 games with a 1.68 ERA before the Orioles traded him to the Twins last August. However, if he does return to form with Baltimore, he is not able eligible to pitch in the postseason because he was not in the organization before Sept. 1.

López’s activation came amid a series of roster moves before Sunday’s series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Reliever Austin Voth was designated for assignment to make room for López on the 28-man roster. Outfielder Aaron Hick was reinstated from the 10-day injured list after recovering from a lower back injury, and outfield prospect Colton Cowser was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after spending just two days back in the majors.

Voth, a right-hander whom the Orioles claimed off waivers from the Washington Nationals last year, largely struggled as a reliever this season after excelling as a starter last year. After posting a 3.04 ERA with the Orioles in 2022, Voth has a 5.19 ERA in 34 2/3 relief innings this year. He spent most of the summer on the injured list with elbow discomfort he’s dealt with since spring training. The 31-year-old was out of minor league options.

Voth is the second reliever to be designated for assignment in as many days after right-hander Logan Gillaspie was on Saturday to make room for López. Baltimore has an open spot on its 40-man roster.

Hicks’ return from the IL is his second in the past month, as the 11-year veteran has missed time with strains of his left hamstring and lower back. The 33-year-old hit .261 with a .795 OPS after signing with Baltimore in late May following his release by the New York Yankees. He’s played just one big league game since July 25.

Cowser rejoined the Orioles’ big league roster on Friday as rosters expanded from 26 to 28. But the sport’s No. 11 prospect, according to Baseball America, could spend the rest of the 2023 season in Triple-A after struggling at the plate in limited playing time in the majors. The 23-year-old hit .115 with a .433 OPS in 77 plate appearances across the 36 games during which he was on the Orioles’ roster.

This story will be updated.

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