Tonight marks the first major league game that Tommy Hunter has pitched in the month of April.
Hunter spent parts of four seasons in the bigs beginning in 2008, but he always was recalled or activated from the disabled list after April.
He’s faced the Twins three times, allowing eight runs and 13 hits over 14 2/3 innings, with four walks and 10 strikeouts. Joe Mauer is 3-for-6 against him with a home run and two RBIs.
Hunter was going to be the second or fourth starter for the Orioles, and manager Buck Showalter chose to slot him behind Jake Arrieta. It makes sense. The Orioles are going to be cautious with Wei-Yin Chen in his first season in the U.S., and it’s easier to control his innings at the end of the rotation.
Considering that Hunter was a candidate to start on opening day, it would have been strange to slot him fourth or fifth as the Orioles were breaking camp.
Hunter will give the team innings, which is needed on this staff. It won’t always be pretty, but he can save the bullpen and give the Orioles a chance to win.
The Twins are starting left-hander Francisco Liriano, which probably means another start in left field for Nolan Reimold. He’s 2-for-3 against Liriano. Yes, a small sample size.
Matt Wieters is 2-for-6 with a home run. Adam Jones is 2-for-7 with a homer.
Liriano is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA in four career games against the Orioles, with eight runs and 18 hits allowed in 21 1/3 innings. He’s walked 11 and struck out 13.
You have to love Dylan Bundy’s debut last night for Single-A Delmarva. He retired all nine batters he faced and struck out six.
Way to raise the bar, kid.