Crunching more Orioles numbers

Any reference to Orioles left-hander Bruce Zimmermann must be accompanied by his hometown or residence. Otherwise, you’re a slacker and ill-equipped to join the discussion.

He’s a Baltimore native.

He lives in Ellicott City.

He works out in Elkridge.

I’m still tracing the locations where he dines.

Zimmermann attended Loyola Blakefield High School and was chosen for the Brooks Robinson All-Star Game at Camden Yards, where he was named Most Valuable Pitcher for the North team. He spent two years at Towson University before transferring to the University of Mount Olive in North Carolina.

(I’ve mounted a few olives in my day after ordering more than one martini, but I digress ...)

Zimmermann went 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA and 129 strikeouts as the Friday starter during his senior year at Mount Olive. The staff aces pitch on Friday nights.

Now here’s a fun fact about Zimmermann: His 129 strikeouts tied the university’s single-season record originally set by former major league pitcher Carter Capps.

The Mariners selected Capps in the third round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. His last major league game was in 2017 with the Padres.

The Braves selected Zimmermann in the fifth round in 2017 and he has a real shot at being in the Orioles rotation next spring.

Paul-Fry-Fires-vs-BOS-White-Sidebar.jpg* Reliever Paul Fry had the best season of his major league career, which began in 2018 with the Orioles.

Fry averaged 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings and fanned at least one batter in 13 consecutive games. He posted a 2.45 ERA. Opponents were 4-for-45 (.089) with two strikes.

There’s always an odd stat that someone manages to infiltrate the good stuff. This one belongs to Fry:

First batters were 8-for-21 (.381) with three doubles, a home run and a walk.

By the way, if anyone challenges you to name the Orioles pitcher with the most appearances since June 29, 2018, you’ll know the answer. Really impress him or her by adding the game total (123).

* Dillon Tate spins the first batter stat in his favor. They were 2-for-11 with a hit by pitch this season.

Tate thrust himself deeper into the bullpen conversation in 2021, but he has to stay healthy. He was forced onto the injured list prior to opening day after being hit on the right elbow by Pat Valaika’s comebacker in an intrasquad game, and he returned to it on Sept. 22 with a sprained right finger.

Bad luck on both occasions. A shot up the middle at summer training camp and a fall at his home.

Right-handed hitters were 4-for-38 (.105) against Tate and left-handers were 5-for-17 (.294). Nothing reversed about his splits.

The only home run off Tate came from the bat of the Blue Jays’ Cavan Biggio on Aug. 17 - a two-run shot in Tate’s first appearance of the summer.

* Left-hander Tanner Scott is set for the 2021 bullpen. I can’t imagine that he’d be competing for a job, though it’s always possible to pitch your way back to the minors.

Scott didn’t allow an earned run in his last 13 appearances and was scored upon only twice among his team-leading 25 games. That could explain the 1.31 ERA in 20 2/3 innings.

Fifteen of the 50 balls (30 percent) put in play against Scott were categorized as “hard hit” by FanGraphs.com - at least 95 mph - the lowest percentage among Orioles relievers and second-lowest among their pitchers.

Who owned the lowest percentage? Answer below.

Scott’s 85.1 mph average exit velocity was tied with Evan Phillips for lowest on the Orioles’ staff, according to Statcast.

Opponents were 2-for-31 (.065) with runners in scoring position off Scott, the fourth-lowest average in the majors with a minimum of 20 at-bats.

Answer: Only 29.6 percent of balls were hard hit off starter Wade LeBlanc, who’s returning to the free agent market.

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