The Mariners have agreed to bring righty Asher Wojciechowski back to the organization on a minor league contract, per their official transactions log. The journeyman starter signed on with the M’s on a minor league deal back in July but didn’t get a call to the big leagues. He subsequently became a minor league free agent at season’s end, thus allowing him to sign a minor league deal this offseason.
Wojciechowski, 33, has seen action in parts of five big league seasons, including in each of the past three. He appeared in just one game with the 2021 Yankees, allowing a pair of runs over four innings in a spot start, but was a fairly consistent presence with the Orioles in 2019-20. Baltimore originally acquired Wojciechowski from Cleveland in a cash deal back in 2019, and it looked as though he might simply make a spot start or two at the time of the swap.
Instead, Wojciechowski pitched well enough to quickly grab a spot in a patchwork O’s rotation. He worked to a 3.60 ERA in his first 30 innings, providing the Orioles plenty of reason to give him some leash from there on. Overall, while Wojciechowski didn’t exactly dominate, he gave an Orioles roster that was desperate for pitching a total of 82 1/3 innings of 4.92 ERA ball from July 2 through season’s end.
That proved enough for the O’s to keep Wojciechowski on the 40-man roster all winter, and he headed into the shortened 2020 season with a rotation spot. He continued to hold his own through the first four starts of the 2020 season, but after a swift decline — 19 runs over his next 18 1/3 frames — Wojciechowski was designated for assignment and passed through outright waivers.
Overall, Wojciechowski has 202 innings at the big league level, albeit with an unsightly 5.93 ERA to show for it. He’s fanned a respectable 21.9% of his opponents and posted a better-than-average 7.9% walk rate, but Wojciechowski is also an extreme fly-ball pitcher who’s shown a proclivity for surrendering the long ball. Most of his big time in the Majors has been spent in homer-friendly home parks — Houston, Cincinnati, Baltimore, the Bronx — so if he makes it to Seattle, perhaps T-Mobile Park could help to slightly reduce that problem. Still, with an average of 2.0 homers per nine innings pitched, Wojciechowski’s struggles go beyond the dimensions of his home parks.
As things stand, Wojciechowski is a pure depth option for the M’s. Seattle inked reigning Cy Young winner Robbie Ray to lead its staff in 2022 and beyond. He’ll be followed by stalwart southpaw Marco Gonzales, promising sophomore Logan Gilbert and righty Chris Flexen — a KBO reclamation project that has turned into a resound success for the M’s. Former top prospects Justus Sheffield and Justin Dunn could factor into the mix as well, but the general expectation is that the Mariners will add another veteran to round out the rotation in the days and weeks coming out of the lockout.
Wojciechowski isn’t likely to emerge as an option unless the Mariners incur several injuries, but as far as depth options go, a well-traveled veteran with a 4.33 ERA in 664 2/3 Triple-A innings is a solid one to have on hand.
Good, I wondered what he’d been up to since “Barney Miller” went off the air.
I still have hopes they’ll pick up Will Harris and Derek Dietrich.
Thought he became a basketball writer.
Yep. That was my first thought too.
No, is this pronounced Woe-ja-chow-skie?
Voy-cha-hoofski if we’re doing it the Polish way.
H is silent.
Actually, the “c” is silent. Or, more accurately, the “ch” is pronounced as in “loch” (Scottish way). But that’s if you want proper Polish. The man probably Americanizes it. Just some nit picking from a former Slavic studies major.
Let’s go Wojo!
I have a genuine question for everyone: Do you like the longer fluffier updates that MLBTR have been doing lately? Also, when they do article updates, there is no way to really tell what is actually being updated a lot of the time, it just get updated in the feed as a longer article that you have to figure out.
I tend to not like fluff but i know that could be just me, but curious how everyone else feels
I don’t mind the fluff since there’s literally nothing going on in baseball right now.
And when they do article updates they usually put the time at the top and a fresh paragraph. Imo it’s pretty easy to see what’s updated.
At the end of the day, if you don’t like the site, just remember it’s free to use. I personally think this site is the best around for summing up transactions, big news, etc. it’s def my go-to site other than Twitter for baseball news
The road to the AL pennant now goes through Seattle …
Bro you are too funny…. Come up with that one on your own??
Ironically, you might not be far off, depending on what happens the rest of the off-season
First Marc Rzepczynski, now this Asher fellow. Scrabble: Mariners edition.
Wish I could see the look on the faces of the Minor League announcers at Spring Training in Peoria just before they call out Wojciechowski who will be followed by Anthony Misciewicz!! Haha
Three former Orioles pitchers in two days! What is the baseball world thinking?
Last year the pitchers got worn out at the end. This year Dipoto is going to stock enough arms that doesn’t happen. Wojciechowski may only give the M’s a couple starts. But if he can keep the ball in the park that may be just enough.
This is purely a depth beyond depth move on the surface as Brash, Williamson, Kirby, Dunn, Sheffield, and possibly Stoudt, are all options for starts this year.
Steve- don’t count out Penn Murfee either. He’s progressing well. In fact I was surprised to see ZiPS having Murfee projected to throw more MLB inn (83) than George Kirby. They had Ryan Weber projected to pitch 104 inn! Whatever that means!
Raw ZiPS playing time numbers are random and meaningless – look closely and you’ll see that they have Mariners pitchers starting 550 games this season. The adjusted ZiPS DC projections on individual Fangraphs player pages are more realistic, those show Kirby with 23 IP this season and Murfee with 4 (Weber doesn’t even get a projection).
Murfee was moved into relief last August.
Good depth signing, although there’s no such thing as a bad minor league signing. Maybe he gets a few spot starts this year, maybe not. M’s still need more starting pitching depth and another #2-3 starter in the bigs so this is nice. He was here last year so there’s some familiarity.