The Baltimore Orioles have acquired left-handed pitcher Richard Bleier from the New York Yankees. Christian Walker has been designated for assignment.
The Baltimore Orioles have acquired left-handed relief pitcher Richard Bleier from the New York Yankees for cash considerations and a player to be named later. They have designated Christian Walker for assignment.
Bleier saw his first action in the majors last year with the Yankees at age 29, as he pitched entirely in relief in 23 games, amassing 23 innings with a 1.96 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and a 5.09 K/9.
Obviously, a 23 inning sample size is far too small to really judge what Bleier can do in the major leagues, but in his limited time, he has impressed. Bleier has some experience starting in the minor leagues but hasn’t had too much success up until the past couple years.
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Bleier has never been a strikeout pitcher, in fact, he’s been just the opposite, with a pitiful K/9 throughout his entire time in the minor leagues. Bleier throws three pitches: a fastball that averages around 89 MPH, a slider, and a changeup.
Bleier has solid control, as he’s never had too high of a walk rate during his time in the minors, which is useful, but he presents little upside as a major league pitcher.
The more interesting part of this move is the DFAing of former top-prospect Christian Walker, who was, at one time, considered the future first baseman for the Baltimore Orioles.
Walker hasn’t really been able to put it together in triple-A over the past couple seasons, and with the emergence of Trey Mancini, the Orioles feel comfortable letting him go.
It’s likely that Walker will get picked up somewhere, and probably will even make it to the majors at some point, as he’s only 25 years old. The Orioles just have a major logjam at first base, and there was really no way that Walker was going to be able to make it on the team.