Baltimore Orioles: Potential In-House Rotational Options

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Gabriel Ynoa
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Gabriel Ynoa /
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MILWAUKEE, WI – JULY 05: Jayson Aquino
MILWAUKEE, WI – JULY 05: Jayson Aquino /

Potential Help Already in the Major Leagues

1. Gabriel Ynoa, RHP

The 24-year-old right-hander spent a majority of the 2017 season with the Norfolk Tides. Ynoa’s insertion into the Baltimore rotation was rather delayed due to a slow start three-quarters of the way through the season.

While his overall 5.25 ERA along with allowing runners to hit a .297 clip against him is not impressive, something clicked in the month of August. In six starts in August, Ynoa sported a 2.72 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, along with hitters hitting only .219 against him. Recently, he is getting to showcase what he capable of doing and in his best start put up eight innings of one-run ball against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Ynoa displays a plus fastball touching 95 mph along with an above average slider.  He is certainly making a case for a rotational spot in 2018.

2. Jayson Aquino, LHP

The 24-year-old left-hander was called upon for two spot starts for the Baltimore Orioles.  In his two combined starts for the Orioles, he went 1-1 in 11 1/3 innings with 3 walks, 8 strikeouts, and an ERA of 3.97.  What hurts his overall ERA were his two back to back relief appearances against the New York Yankees.

Aquino was undoubtedly the most consistent starter from month to month for the Norfolk Tides sporting a 4.24 ERA over 114 2/3 innings. Aquino mixes his fastball which tops out at 91 mph and changeup very well.

While he was, unfortunately, DFA’d to call up Austin Hays, the Orioles will hope to have Aquino back to compete for a rotational spot during the Spring.

3. Mike Wright, RHP

Wright has been part of the 40 man roster for the past 3 years and has gone back and forth on the infamous Norfolk shuttle. His success at Norfolk is well known considering that for the past three years has posted sub 3.70 ERA over 43 starts at Norfolk.

Unfortunately, he has struggled with the Baltimore Orioles. Mike Wright will have to make the 25 man roster next season since he will have used up all his options.  We know Wright has a plus fastball that can touch up to 96 mph but it is his command and secondary offerings that need the most work.

4. Chris Lee, LHP

The young left-hander has spent two years on the 40 man roster but has yet to be called up to the big show. After battling injury in what was his most promising season with the Bowie Baysox in 2016, he was unable to regain his dominant form in 2017 with the Norfolk Tides.

Lee’s 5.11 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, and allowing runners to hit .302 against him are not promising numbers but since moving from the rotation to the bullpen, Lee showed some poise.  In six relief appearances in August totaling 20 and 1/3 innings, Lee posted a 1.77 ERA along with 16 strikeouts.

His control is in need of work but he is a lefty a power fastball that touches 96 mph.  With one option remaining next year, Lee will need to perform more like he did in August to get a chance with the Orioles.