It was just two weeks ago that Hazleton’s Russ Canzler was at PNC Field helping Norfolk take two games out of four from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Just two years removed from being International League MVP and just a few months after going through a whirlwind of an offseason in which he spent time with four organizations, the 27-year-old was designated for assignment by Baltimore on Saturday.
Canzler was hitting .276 with 11 home runs and 49 RBI for the Tides playing in 86 of their 88 games this season seeing time at designated hitter, first base and the outfield.
In the four games he played at PNC Field at the end of June he went 7-for-16 with a home run, two doubles, four RBI and four runs scored. That had been one of the bright spots for the normally slow starter.
Over his last 10 games he started to pick things up with three multi-hit games in that span. He became expendable when the Orioles acquired first baseman/third baseman Alex Liddi from Seattle on Saturday. To make room on the 40-man roster for the 24-year-old Liddi, Canzler was the odd man out. Liddi was designated for assignment last week by the Mariners.
That’s a process Canzler will have to go through now.
The Orioles will have 10 days to trade or release the 2004 Hazleton Area grad. If he’s claimed off waivers, the Orioles will try to work out a deal with that team. If he clears waivers, he will have to accept an outright assignment to the minors. It seems unlikely that Canzler will pass through waivers as he was in high demand during the offseason.
When he was DFA’d during that time on four different occasions he was picked up nearly immediately. He was officially part of Cleveland, Toronto and the New York organizations before getting picked up by Baltimore.