A look at more free agent pitchers

Now that the Orioles have an agreement with right-hander Jordan Lyles for 2022, pending a post-lockout physical, are they done looking for pitchers?

Not very likely.

Over the past few weeks, we have been looking at some back end rotation options as noted by MLBTradeRumors.com and going in alphabetical order. So we have addressed pitchers like Brett Anderson all the way through Lyles. Yep, he was in our last grouping of pitchers that were potential future Orioles. He was mentioned in this post. The entry that mentioned Lyles also includes links to the previous two other stories we did on free agent pitchers.

Here are four more to round out the group of pitchers that were labeled as “older veterans/back-of-rotation options.”

Wily Peralta: This 32-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic put together a pretty solid season, going 4-5 with a 3.07 ERA over 93 2/3 innings for the Detroit Tigers. He began the year at Triple-A and didn’t make his season debut with Detroit until June 15. He allowed 87 hits, including 12 homers, with a 1.335 WHIP, 8.4 hits per nine innings, a walk rate of 3.7 and strikeout rate of just 5.6 per nine.

He had a big year against lefty batters, yielding just a .192 batting average against and OPS of .613. And those numbers were .300/.858 against right-handed batters. A big disparity, although for his career those numbers are .281/.814 versus lefty batters and .270/.740 against righties.

Peralta had an impressive five-start stretch from June 26-July 18, posting a 3-0 record with a 0.34 ERA, allowing just one earned run over 26 2/3 innings. He became the fourth Tigers pitcher since 1945 to allow no more than one total earned run over a span of five starts in a season, joining Michael Fulmer (twice in 2016), Jack Morris (1986) and Al Benton (1945). Then he closed the season by allowing two earned runs or less in seven straight starts from Aug. 21-Oct. 1. In that span he went 1-3 with a 2.15 ERA and 21 strikeouts over 37 2/3 innings. He did miss a brief span of time from Aug. 22-Sept. 1 with a blister issue.

Over 873 career innings with Milwaukee, Kansas City and Detroit, he has pitched to an ERA of 4.36, which is 7 percent under league average for that time, with a 1.444 WHIP.

Baseballs glove.jpgMichael Pineda: Pineda, 32, had a solid season for the Minnesota Twins, going 9-8 with a 3.62 ERA. In 109 1/3 innings, he allowed 114 hits with 21 walks to 88 strikeouts. He recorded a 1.235 WHIP allowing 1.4 homers per nine innings with 1.7 walks and 7.2 strikeouts, which was the second-lowest strikeout per nine of his career.

Over the last three seasons with the Twins, he has gone 22-13 with a 3.80 ERA and 1.191 WHIP. From 2014-2017 while with the Yankees, he was 31-31 with a 4.16 ERA. In 170 career games, he has gone 62-54 with a 3.98 ERA, which produced an ERA+ of 105. That includes a career 1.190 WHIP and he has yielded 1.2 homers per nine with 2.0 walks and 8.8 strikeouts.

Pineda missed the last 21 games of 2019, the playoffs and the first 36 contests of 2020 due to a 60-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug and Prevention Treatment Program. He also spent the entire 2018 season on the injured list, recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, missed the entire 2012 campaign with the Yankees while recovering from right shoulder surgery and was out of the majors in 2013 while rehabbing.

Drew Smyly: The lefty is from Little Rock, Ark., which should endear him to Orioles fans already. Smyly pitched for the World Series champion Atlanta Braves, going 11-4 with a 4.48 ERA in 29 games last season. Over 126 2/3 innings, he allowed 133 hits with 41 walks to 117 strikeouts. He posted a WHIP of 1.374 allowing 9.5 hits and 1.9 homers per nine with 2.9 walks and 8.3 strikeouts.

He pitched out of the bullpen in three playoff games - two in the World Series - and gave up five runs and nine hits over 7 1/3 innings with two walks and eight strikeouts.

In 837 career innings for Detroit, Tampa Bay, Texas, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Atlanta, he is 46-39 with an ERA of 4.18, which is exactly league average for his career, producing a 100 ERA+ with a 1.275 WHIP.

Michael Wacha: The Orioles cannot sign Wacha, the last pitcher listed in this category when free agency began. He recently signed a one-year deal worth $7 million with Boston. So he goes from one American League East team in Tampa Bay to another. Wacha was the winning pitcher in Game 2 of the 2013 World Series for St. Louis at Fenway Park.

In 2021 with the Rays, over 29 games and 23 starts, Wacha went 3-5 with a 5.05 ERA. Over 124 2/3 innings, he recorded a 1.307 WHIP, allowing 9.5 hits and 1.7 home runs per nine innings with a 2.2 walk rate and 8.7 strikeouts. Wacha got $3 million to pitch for Tampa Bay and more than doubles that to join the Red Sox on a one-year deal. Boston added him after losing lefty Eduardo Rodriguez via free agency to Detroit.

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