The Baltimore Orioles brought back a familiar face in the clubhouse by re-signing right-handed reliever Tommy Hunter. It is a serious upgrade over what Buck Showalter has been forced to work with.
The Big Game is back in Baltimore.
It has been a miserable showing from the Baltimore Orioles bullpen as of late so the team has brought back Tommy Hunter. The 30-year old was released by the Cleveland Indians on Thursday and has joined the Orioles in New York.
The Indians let Hunter go while in the midst of his rehab assignment after he suffered an injury to his back over the All-Star break. The Orioles must feel that he is fine physically as they have already given him a locker.
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Hunter first came to Baltimore after a trade with the Texas Rangers that also landed star first baseman Chris Davis in exchange for Koji Uehara. When we look back at the history of trades this organization has made, that 2011 deal will rank as one of the all-time best.
Baltimore traded Hunter to the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline last season for outfielder Junior Lake. He signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Indians over the winter, but has not pitched in the Majors since June 9.
Hunter has been a terrific reliever since moving to the bullpen, compiling a 3.30 ERA and a ground-ball rate of 45 percent. The Orioles have been given up home runs in bunches as of late so it would be nice to see a few balls hit on the ground.
It is a major upgrade to a bullpen that has been taxed as of late. Whether it has been Logan Ondrusek, Mike Wright, Tyler Wilson, T.J. McFarland or any other Orioles reliever, they are not getting guys out. Showalter and Dan Duquette have been working the bullpen a lot as of late, and this is a move that should solidify the group.