Baltimore Orioles: 6 unsung players playing vital roles in 2017

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 30: Trey Mancini
BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 30: Trey Mancini /
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Baltimore Orioles: Alec Asher
CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 13: Starting pitcher Alec Asher /

4. Alec Asher, RHP

Another reliever who has done a good job in that role was traded to the Orioles just before the season started.

When the Orioles acquired Alec Asher from the Phillies for cash or a player to be named later, Dan Duquette mentioned many of the same things that he did for Castro. Coming off a suspension for PEDs, Asher had fallen a bit out of favor in Philadelphia. But, he ended up on the Orioles’ roster with Chris Tillman‘s injury as a reliever.

In April, Asher pitched in three games. One was a spot start in which he went 6.1 innings and allowed one run on three hits. The other two were one inning appearances, one in a game that the Orioles won in 11 innings.

In May, Asher made seven relief appearances covering 14.2 innings. He only allowed two runs over that period, dropping his season ERA to 2.17. To close May, Asher was inserted into the rotation, with less success.

However, on the year as a reliever, Asher has a 3.49 ERA in 28.1 innings. While his WHIP of 1.482 is high, he did a good job of minimizing the damage and keeping the Orioles close in games they might have otherwise lost.

Asher has been less effective after starting, likely because his usage has been more sporadic, and he also spent time as a starter at Triple-A Norfolk. However, the Orioles may have another future bullpen piece in Asher or a potential starter, and he certainly helped the team early in the season.