Baltimore Orioles: Jorge Rondon, Vance Worley Flip Teams


Sep 26, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jorge Rondon (57) delivers a pitch during the eighth inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. The Red Sox won 8-0. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

In recent days, the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates have each claimed from the other a pitcher off waivers. Jorge Rondon was picked up by the Pirates, whereas previously the Orioles took Vance Worley.

While it will not likely make a grand difference for either team and perhaps neither of these players will ever be critical pieces for the Orioles or Pirates, but who could be said to have gotten the better deal? Arguments can be made in both cases, but looking at the numbers, it would appear that the Orioles came out the best in this situation.

Here are some basic statistics of the two players, looking at their career MLB number and career stats at the AAA level. For comparison, note also that Worley is age 28 and Rondon age 27. Worley was the #3 selection of the Phillies in 2008 out of Cal State Long Beach, whereas Rondon was an amateur free agent signee out of Venezuela in 2006 by the Cardinals.


Relative to Rondon’s Stats: The sample size in the majors is very small, though his AAA numbers are at least decent. And his stats in Norfolk this past year were particularly good: 2.33 ERA over 54 innings and 30 games. However, Rondon’s total 10-year minor league career numbers include a 24-48 record and 4.39 ERA — much of the negative contributions coming earlier in the minors when he was a starting pitcher.

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Relative to Worley’s Stats: A career 3.79 ERA is not that bad!  Compare that to these: Chris Tillman – 4.20, Wei-Yin Chen – 3.72, Ubaldo Jimenez – 4.01 (4.39 with the O’s), Miguel Gonzalez – 3.78, Kevin Gausman – 4.25.  Of Worley’s 104 games, 81 were as a starter with a 3.86 ERA; but as a reliever his ERA drops to 2.40.  Likewise, the batting average against him as a starter is .280 — which is high. But as a reliever it is .240.

None of these numbers will get you on an All-Star team. But it would seem reasonable to see Worley as the more likely candidate to contribute something. His strikeout numbers are not high, and he is a fly ball pitcher. Yet maybe “Fresh Eyes” pitching coach for the Orioles can work some magic on him and get him to a next level of effectiveness.

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