The Baltimore Orioles have an unusual number of players coming to spring training this year – so many of them being guys on the fringe of trying to make it for the first time, or others to return to a former position as a regular player in MLB.
Over the offseason we have written about most of these players, but even as the person who has done much of that, there are so many new personnel that I need to often refresh my memory about this or that player. I need a quick reference guide, how about you?
So here is a listing of the pitchers, and tomorrow I’ll do the same for the position players. (I will update this as time goes by with any additions … so you can check back as the Spring wears on.) I will assume most readers are familiar with those players who have been a part of the Orioles in the past, and I’ll just give some brief descriptive comments on those who may be more unfamiliar.
At the moment of this writing there are 31 pitchers in the major league camp.
Pitchers who have played with the Orioles: Wei-Yin Chen, Brian Matusz, Bud Norris, Tommy Hunter, Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman, Troy Patton, Dylan Bundy, Miguel Gonzalez, Steve Johnson, Zach Britton, Darren O’Day, T.J. McFarland.
Pitchers who are not as well-known (though a couple have had short stints with the O’s):
Alfredo Aceves – RHP – The 31-year-old former Yankees and Red Sox pitcher hopes to revive his career. He has had times of both greatness and disaster – pitching mostly in AAA last year. He admires Dennis Rodman … ugh!
Nick Additon – LHP – Age 26. In 2013, he was 9-7 with a 4.10 ERA with AAA Memphis. He has previously been with the Cardinals organization.
Tim Alderson – RHP – In 2007, Alderson was the 22nd overall pick in the first round of the draft by the San Francisco Giants. He is age 25. At one time a top prospect, he had a high ERA at Norfolk for his 15 games with them in 2013.
Mike Belfiore – LHP – In 2013 he pitched 76 innings at AAA Norfolk in 37 games of relief to a 3.18 ERA – age 25.
Tim Berry – LHP – A 50th-round selection in the 2009 draft, Berry was 11-7 with a 3.85 ERA in 27 starts at Frederick. Berry pitched 152 innings – striking out 119 while walking 40. He was also 2-0 with a 1.84 ERA for Surprise in the Arizona Fall League.
Brad Brach – RHP – He came to the Orioles in a trade with the Padres. The 6’6” reliever is age 27 and has posted a 3-6 record for San Diego in 109 appearances over three seasons. His career ERA is 3.70, and he averages 10.1 strikeouts per 9 innings. He has an option remaining.
Fabio Castillo – RHP – This 25-year-old has a career minor league ERA of 4.63 – most of it in the Texas organization, though last year at AA and AAA for the Giants.
Kelvin De La Cruz – LHP – He pitched for AAA Albuquerque with good stats of 3-1 and 2.89 ERA – 62 hits in 62 innings of relief and 78 strikeouts. The problem that sticks out is 5.1 walks per 9 innings.
Edgmer Escalona – RHP – Age 27, was 1-4 with a 5.67 ERA for the Rockies last year in 37 games. He is 19-16 with a 3.85 ERA and 8.9 strikeouts per nine innings in 259 career relief outings over eight minor league seasons.
Eddie Gamboa – RHP – A long-time Orioles minor leaguer – trying to make it happen with a knuckleball. At age 29, Gamboa was a combined 6-11 with a 4.43 ERA and 114 strikeouts in 142 1/3 innings for Double-A Bowie (4-6, 3.64 in 16 starts) and Triple-A Norfolk (2-5, 6.23 in nine starts).
Liam Hendriks – RHP – This Australian, who will be age 25, was claimed off waivers from the Cubs, who did the same from the Twins. He has pitched in 30 games with a MLB record of 2-13 and ERA of 6.06. However, his AAA stats are great – looking like a guy ready for the next step.
Brock Huntzinger – RHP – A third-round pick who has been in the Red Sox organization, this 25-year-old reliever had rather mundane numbers until the past two years. Splitting time between AA Portland and AAA Pawtucket in 2013, Huntzinger made 49 relief appearances while posting a 1.83 ERA. He was 2-2 with a 1.43 ERA in 24 games for Pawtucket.
Chris Jones – LHP – He pitched 70 innings of relief at AAA Norfolk with a 2.67 ERA.
Evan Meek – RHP – At age 30, Meek spent last year with the Rangers’ AAA affiliate, posting a 4.50 with a 6-9 record. He was a reliever for the Pirates from 2008-12 with a 3.34 ERA in 156 appearances.
Eduardo Rodriguez – LHP – A top prospect who will turn age 21 in April. Between Frederick and Bowie he was 10-7 with a 3.41 ERA. He threw 125 innings with a .241 average against. Pitched well also in the Arizona Fall League.
Josh Stinson – RHP – Out of options, and having pitched well for the Birds at the end of the season during a stint with the team, Stinson may well break camp with the Orioles. He pitched in 11 games and had a .169 BA against, with an ERA of 3.18 … but gave up four homers.
Ryan Webb – RHP – Webb should be a great pickup as a free agent. He had good success for the Florida Marlins, posting a 2.91 ERA with 70 hits in 80 innings of relief. Throws a heavy sinker. Can anyone say “Closer?”
Mike Wright – RHP – A legit O’s prospect who sometimes gets left out of conversations that feature more famous minor league names. He was 11-3 with a 3.26 ERA at AA Bowie.