Although as he spoke, a roster move was not official, pitcher Tommy Hunter just told reporters he is being sent back to the minor leagues, but he wasn’t sure where it would be, leaving Double-A Bowie as a possibility along with Triple-A Norfolk.
“Just go pitch, somewhere other than here,” Hunter said. “I don’t know where I’m going. Just step in line and take the ball.
“You would hope so (that I can get back soon). I don’t know if you would, but I would. (Stinks) but that’s part of the deal when you aren’t throwing well, they need to get someone here that is.”
Hunter gave up eight runs and three more homers in three-plus innings in Texas Wednesday, leaving him with a record of 4-8 and ERA of 5.95 in 23 games. He has allowed 32 homers in 121 innings.
“They’re hitting fastballs,” Hunter said. “I’ve talked to a couple of people about it. It’s about changing speeds and I’m not doing it. My agent told me today ‘Hey, you need to step off the accelerator sometimes.’ He said go down there and reinvent yourself. I don’t want to reinvent myself, I just want to start throwing more consistent offspeed strikes.
“I’ve had, from the second half on, two, not so good outings. I’ve had seven starts. I’ve found it a little bit. I gave up home runs, but look at the games, three runs, two runs. I’ve thrown the ball. I’m not scared to give up home runs. I’m not scared of anyone. So I’ll keep attacking, I just have to change some stuff.”
Hunter has allowed three runs or less in five of his second starts since the All-Star break, but thanks to two games where he allowed a combined 13 runs, his ERA is 5.63 since the break.
So he’ll go back to the minors, where he said, you have to be careful at times as the young hitters are swinging often down there.
“It’s a different game down there,” Hunter said. “If you throw strikes down there you can get hit harder than you could up here. I don’t know. I’m going to go down and do what I can. Throw strikes and challenge guys. I just know I’m going to go down and go pitch and it’s probably going to be good.”
Does he expect to be back when the roster expand September 1?
“I didn’t say that at all. I have no idea what their plans are. I can expect to get the ball and start a couple games and we’ll go from there,” Hunter said.