The Orioles will be searching for a starting pitcher this winter who fits at the top of their rotation. They don’t figure to stay in the bidding for left-hander David Price, however, since he’s going to break the bank into millions and millions of pieces.
Yes, there seems to be mutual interest here, with Price liking the idea of pitching for the Orioles, from what I’ve heard. They’re not bothered by his postseason record, but let’s take a quick look at it.
Price lost again yesterday in Game 1 of the American League Division Series, lowering his career playoff record to 1-6. The win came in relief for the Rays in the 2008 Championship Series. He’s the first pitcher to lose his first six postseason starts.
I’d still take him, of course, but I’m going to keep campaigning for Nationals pending free agents Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister. Just preparing you in advance.
Dylan Bundy is scheduled to throw off a mound again today in Sarasota after completing his first bullpen session on Wednesday without incident. So far, so good for Bundy, who’s been sidelined with discomfort caused by calcification in the Teres minor muscle behind his right shoulder.
Dr. James Andrews cleared Bundy to start a throwing program last month.
Bundy, 22, made eight starts with Double-A Bowie before being shut down, the most recent on May 21 in Trenton, when he tossed four scoreless innings and struck out five batters. He was 0-3 with a 3.68 ERA in 22 innings, with five walks and 25 strikeouts.
The Orioles might need to create a spot for Bundy in the bullpen next season since he’s out of options and unlikely to crack the rotation. As I’ve written in the past, they will be hard-pressed to carry another Rule 5 reliever next season if Bundy is in the ‘pen.
Jason Garcia, who made it through his Rule 5 season, could begin the 2016 season at Bowie or Triple-A Norfolk. He isn’t expected to break camp with the Orioles, but we’ve got a long way to go before crafting the 25-man roster.
Garcia has started in the past, but the Orioles will try to develop him as a multi-inning reliever. He posted a 2.18 ERA in 13 appearances in the second half, allowing five earned runs in 16 innings, after carrying a 5.93 ERA in the first half, with nine earned runs in 13 2/3 innings over eight games.
“I’m real proud of the progress of Jason Garcia this year,” said manager Buck Showalter. “He’s really started to grasp some things other than pitching. Dom (Chiti) and Wally (Dave Wallace) have done a good job with him. It’s nice to know he’s going to be with our organization next year with options.”
Ah, the options. Nice to have some flexibility in the bullpen.
The Orioles still want Jimmy Paredes to play in the outfield in winter ball.
“We have a lot of contacts with different clubs. I know Brian (Graham) and some of our guys are looking into that,” Showalter said.
Paredes set career highs this year in games (104), hits (100), doubles (17), home runs (10), RBIs (42), runs scored (46) and walk (19). However, he only batted .216/.252/.265 in the second half after hitting .299/.332/.475 in the first. His last home run came on July 1.
Henry Urrutia is in Venezuela to continue getting at-bats and working on his outfield defense. He wasn’t included on the Orioles’ expanded roster and his hold on a 40-man roster spot is slipping.
I’m not sure why Urrutia didn’t get more of a look after hitting a walk-off home run on Aug. 19 to beat the Mets. He went a combined 4-for-7 with a walk in the next two games, but received only eight more at-bats before the Orioles optioned him.
Maybe it was a wild card race thing.
The Twins swept the Orioles in a four-game series at Camden Yards after the Urrutia walk-off, and the Royals and Rangers went a combined 6-1 in two road series as the season took a destructive turn.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Brad Brach is a vastly underrated reliever.
Brach has become a huge part of a bullpen that may lose Darren O’Day to free agency. His importance figures to increase after he went 5-3 with a 2.72 ERA in 62 appearances, with 57 hits allowed in 79 1/3 innings.
Brach led Orioles relievers and ranked fifth in the American League with 89 strikeouts.
“You know who’s had a good year?” Showalter asked as the season wound down. “I was looking at his numbers today. Brad Brach. You ever stop and look at his numbers? Pretty impressive.”
Brach was much better when starting an inning. He let 17 of 29 inherited runners score.
T.J. McFarland really improved in that area. He let one of 15 inherited runners score this season.
The Orioles are interested in a left-handed reliever who’s coming off ligament-reconstructive surgery on his elbow. That’s all I’ve got.