Righty Dan Straily is being shifted into the bullpen, the Orioles informed reporters including Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com (via Twitter). It isn’t yet known who’ll step into his spot in the rotation.
This move wasn’t hard to see coming. The O’s added Straily for a low price at the outset of the year, with the idea that he’d help solidify the rotation. Unfortunately, that has just not happened.
While the 30-year-old has been a sturdy rotation piece for several years now, he has been drubbed in Baltimore. Over 34 2/3 innings, he carries a 9.09 ERA with just 18 strikeouts against 17 walks. Opposing hitters have already launched 14 long balls.
Straily is living outside of the zone (career-low 38.8%) in an effort to avoid that hard contact. He’s struggling to get swinging strikes (career-low 7.3%). Opposing hitters are putting the ball in the air against him more than ever before, with 20.6% of those flies leaving the yard.
While the O’s don’t have any particularly compelling replacement options, they are said to be browsing the market for pitching depth. If they can’t find a new arm quickly, they’ll need to look internally for at least one start. Just-claimed hurler Chandler Shepherd is one possibility. 40-man members Josh Rogers, Jimmy Yacabonis, and Luis Ortiz are also presently working at Triple-A. Southpaw Keegan Akin is there as well. He’s perhaps the most intriguing possibility, but would need a 40-man spot to be promoted.