Look who’s back.
Tommy Hunter is being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk today, and he’ll try to nail down his first victory since April 24.
Yes, it’s been that long.
Hunter was optioned after allowing six runs (five earned) and nine hits in three innings May 28 at Toronto. He’s surrendered five earned runs in three of his last five starts. In the last two, he’s given up 11 runs (10 earned)and 18 hits in nine innings.
Hunter’s main issue has been fastball command, but that’s probably true of every struggling pitcher, with the exception of those crazy knuckleballers. They march to the beat of their own drummers.
As manager Buck Showalter often points out, it all begins with the ability to command the fastball. Miguel Gonzalez is doing it, and he’s been pretty effective coming out of the bullpen.
Hunter is pitching up in the zone, and he’s getting crushed. He recognizes the problem. He’s just been challenged to correct it.
That probably explains the 13 home runs allowed in 58 innings.
Maybe it will work in Hunter’s favor to be back at Camden Yards, where he’s posted a 3.38 ERA in five starts this season. His ERA is 8.31 in five road games.
Left-handers are batting .325 against Hunter, compared to .278 for right-handers.
Here’s another one for you: Opponents are batting .314 against Hunter with runners in scoring position, but .154 with RISP and two outs. They’re also hitting .407 with his pitch count between 76-90.
The Orioles have another off-day Monday - it would be nice for Major League Baseball to spread them out more - so Showalter can tweak his rotation again. Hunter would like to stay in it, but he’s got to pitch better.
He’s already been optioned twice, though he only made one start with Norfolk. He’s getting another chance today.