Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
When Jim Johnson was traded to the Oakland Athletics, everyone assumed that the closing position would be going to Tommy Hunter. However, as spring training comes to an end, it is worth revisiting if that should be the case.
Tommy Hunter’s numbers this spring have been rather pedestrian. And much of his work has come against minor leagues and not even in the major league camp.
Of course, Ryan Webb hasn’t exactly been very good either. The player the team acquired from the Miami Marlins has thrown 6 innings, allowing 11 hits and 1 walk for a WHIP of 2. That is quite scary for someone who could be a closer candidate.
Darren O’Day has pitched well, and with his new found change-up that he learned from Todd Frohwirth, his splits are expected to be less of an issue this year. O’Day has gone 4 innings, striking out 5, leaving up 3 hits and walking 2, with no runs allowed.
Then there is Evan Meek. Meek is a former All-Star from his days with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Reunited with John Russell, Meek looks like the pitcher that pitched in the All-Star game in 2010. He didn’t pitch in the majors last year, and all of his years in the majors are with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Meek has thrown 6 innings, faced 19 batters, struck out 5 and only allowed one base runner, on a HBP.
Those are just what many view as the current options. It doesn’t include Zach Britton or Bud Norris, two guys who could be sent to the bullpen depending on how the rotation shakes out.
I’m not saying Hunter shouldn’t get the job. I still think he should. But I do think the Baltimore Orioles have a few options on what they can do at closer, which is a good thing as the season approaches.