The Baltimore Orioles are expressing interest in two pitchers that could provide immediate help to the Orioles shaky rotation.
As Baltimore Orioles spring training gets underway, the Orioles are yet to add a starting pitcher to their almost non-existent starting rotation.
However, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, starting pitchers Jake Odorizzi and Collin McHugh could be dealt. Even more, reports by both Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com and Rosenthal indicate the Orioles registering interest in both pitchers.
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Currently, both pitchers of interest are awaiting their salary-arbitration hearings and under team contract for the next two seasons. Most noteworthy, Rosenthal points out the Orioles interests in both pitchers:
"*The Baltimore Orioles, who currently count right-handers Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy as their only reliable starters, remain in the mix for a variety of starting pitchers in free agency and trade, including Odorizzi and possibly McHugh."
Mchugh, 30, is coming off a World Series title with the Houston Astros but is the projected as the No. 7 starter in the Astros heavy-hitting rotation. The right-handed pitcher finished the 2017 regular season going 5-2 with a 3.55 ERA in 12 starts, along with two postseason appearances in the Astros journey to a World Series championship.
McHugh’s pitch repertoire includes primarily his Fourseam Fastball and Curve, per BrooksBaseball.net. Also, McHugh’s mixes in a change and cutter, along with a slider that clears across the strike zone.
Just two years ago, McHugh was a win shy of a 20-win season. McHugh joined the Astros rotation following the All-Star break last season and after a couple bad starts, he went 5-1 in his last eight starts with 40 strikeouts and 2.61 ERA.
On the other hand, Odorizzi, who turns 28-years-old in March, may bode a better move for the Orioles in terms of long-term stability. The Tampa Bay Rays pitcher posted solid numbers last season going 10-8 with a 4.14 ERA in 28 starts.
Odorizzi has been one of the Rays more reliable pitchers throughout the past several seasons with a 40-38 record and a 3.83 ERA. The right-hander essentially used his Fourseam Fastball (48 percent) that averages out at 92mph.
His cutter received an uptick last season, but according to PitcherList.com, Odorizzi’s slider remains his best breaking ball as it generated a .103 opposing average just last season.
Orioles EVP Dan Duquette seemed confident that the Orioles would make moves this offseason to improve the Orioles below average starting rotation. Will he finally make a trade for either McHugh or Odorizzi to give the O’s rotation any chance in 2018?