The Orioles announced they’ve claimed reliever Brooks Kriske off waivers from the Yankees and optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk. Righty Jorge López was transferred from the 10-day to the 60-day injured list to open space on the 40-man roster.
Kriske hasn’t yet found any big league success. He’s been up-and-down with New York over the past two seasons and combined for 11 1/3 innings of twenty-run ball. The righty has punched out a fine fifteen batters in that time, but he’s also issued thirteen walks and been tagged for six home runs.
As one would expect, Kriske has been much better in the minor leagues. He owns a 2.59 ERA in 48 2/3 frames in Double-A, and he’s been almost as good this season with the Yankees’ top affiliate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Through 28 1/3 Triple-A innings, the 27-year-old has posted a 3.81 ERA with a massive 36.6% strikeout rate and 16.8% swinging strike percentage. Kriske has issued a few too many walks in the minors as well, but he’s shown more promise against high-level hitters than his major league resume might indicate.
Kriske still has one additional minor league option year remaining beyond this season. Assuming he sticks on the 40-man roster, he can be shuttled between Baltimore and Norfolk through the end of 2022. The Orioles have had arguably the league’s worst bullpen, so they’re in search of any arms who might be able to establish themselves as reliable members of the pitching staff next year. It’s no surprise the front office would take a flier on Kriske in hopes that he can translate some of his minor league success into the majors at some point.
López’s IL transfer is merely a procedural move. He was already expected to be out for the season after spraining his right ankle last week. The 28-year-old posted a 6.07 ERA across 121 2/3 innings this year.