Orioles executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette said today that the club is once again looking to add arms at the deadline, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports (Twitter links). “Our pitching we’re looking to upgrade for sure,” said Duquette. He indicated that the club could be looking to improve both its rotation and its pen.
Baltimore paid a big price last year to acquire ace reliever Andrew Miller. The southpaw helped charge the team’s late-season success, but left promising young starter Eduardo Rodriguez playing elsewhere in the division. Baltimore has also dealt for pitchers like Scott Feldman and Bud Norris in recent years, evidencing the front office’s willingness to add arms over the summer.
The Orioles have received good results from starters such as Ubaldo Jimenez, Wei-Yin Chen, and Miguel Gonzalez, though the latter two especially have outperformed their peripherals by a wide margin. And while young hurler Kevin Gausman is now slotting in at the back end, the aforementioned Norris and Chris Tillman have both struggled to provide good innings. All said, there’s definitely room for improvement in the rotation.
It’s less apparent that the relief staff is an area of need, though the club obviously saw the value of installing another dominant arm last year. Baltimore’s pen has combined to rate sixth in both reliever ERA and fWAR to date. Late-inning arms Zach Britton and Darren O’Day continue to excel, while the O’s have received quality contributions (at least, in terms of results) from pitchers such as Brad Brach, Chaz Roe, and Brian Matusz.
Duquette added that he still hopes to work out a deal for recently-designated outfielder and bench bat Delmon Young. “We’re still working with a couple of teams and hopefully it will come together,” he explained. Young, who’s playing on a $2.25MM deal this year, was designated on July 1, meaning that Baltimore still has a few days to get something done.