The Orioles announced Wednesday that they’ve claimed lefty Kirk McCarty off waivers from the Guardians and opened a spot on the roster by designating righty Marcos Diplan for assignment. Baltimore also shuffled up its bullpen by optioning lefty Nick Vespi to Triple-A Norfolk and recalling righty Beau Sulser in his place.
McCarty made his big league debut with the O’s this season but was hit hard, surrendering 13 runs (12 earned) on 18 hits and six walks with eight punchouts in a dozen innings. Of those 18 hits he yielded, a whopping six were home runs.
That said, the 26-year-old McCarty has pitched fairly well in Triple-A this season, notching a 3.77 ERA with a below-average 18.7% strikeout rate but a strong 7.1% walk rate. He also has all three minor league option years remaining (2022 included), which creates the potential that he could serve as rotation depth in Baltimore beyond the current season. The Orioles’ rotation has been in a constant state of flux throughout their rebuild, so having some extra optionable depth on hand is never a bad thing.
Alternatively, the O’s could try McCarty in the ’pen to see just how much his 92 mph average fastball velocity might tick up (and perhaps to focus more heavily on one of his three secondary offerings — likely his curveball). The O’s are currently getting excellent work from both Cionel Perez and Keegan Akin, but there’s plenty of fluidity on the fringes of the relief corps and no reason the O’s couldn’t carry three lefty relievers.
As for the 25-year-old Diplan, he’s appeared in each of the past two seasons with the O’s, pitching to a combined 4.04 ERA, 21.3% strikeout rate and 13.3% walk rate in 35 2/3 innings off work. He’s yielded just one run earned run in 5 2/3 big league innings so far in 2022, albeit with a less-appealing 8-to-5 K/BB ratio. He also carries a 3.12 ERA in a a total of 43 2/3 career innings of Triple-A ball, but those same command issues have persisted in the upper minors; Diplan has walked 24 of the 197 hitters he’s faced in Triple-A (12.2%) and hit another pair.
The O’s have passed Diplan through outright waivers unclaimed on two occasions in the past — once in 2020 and once in 2021. Both times, he’s returned to the organization. Because of those prior outrights, he can reject another outright assignment if he clears waivers a third time. The O’s will have a week to trade him, try to put him through waivers, or release him.
For Love of the Game
Looking at their stats, I wondered the same thing!
McCarty has more options then Diplan for one. Other then that, I don’t know.
Cleveland had a pitching factory.
o One assistant pitching coach went to the Yankees and is responsible more than anyone else for squaring away their pitching the past 2 years. Along with getting a decent catcher to handle the pitchers and a SS that can field their pitching is responsible for their remarkable record so far this year.
o Another assistant pitching coach went to to Padres in the offseason, and he’s squared away their pitchers some – expect he’ll do more next year.
o Cleveland has Carl Willis as their pitching coach – a veteran pitching coach that is respected by baseball people and hasn’t produced much previously as a pitching coach in Cleveland, Seattle, and Boston. This year multiple Cleveland pitchers are having problems, and none of them are being turned around.
o The Orioles pitching coach is Chris Holt. Mike Elias brought him over from the Astros (was a low level pitching instructor). Initially Holt was a minor league instructor, giving him a chance to work with the young Orioles singings (smart move). In 2021 he took over as Orioles pitching coach. If you look at their pitchers – particularly in their bullpen – you’ll see a number of guys picked up on waivers that are sporting ERA’s under 3, and many under 2. Like the Astros, the Orioles are very good at developing players from other organizations that didn’t work with them properly.
The Orioles don’t hit on every guy. They may not hit on McCarty. But they’re going to continue bringing young arms in and working with them. FYI – the current Orioles bullpen is one of the best in MLB.
I mean, that’s great and all, but Diplan is simply better, and probably not the best option they have to DFA.
I have lots of posters on mute – always because I’ve seen them make snarky, argumentative, and/or personal attacks in their comments that have nothing to do with baseball. I show up here to discuss baseball.
It seems the way the Mute option works is to take an entire thread below the person being muted out. So I don’t see any comment about Diplan. I assumed the “Why” had to do with signing McCarty.
I guess things didn’t go according to Diplan for Marcos.
Orioles nabbed him before the Jays could it seems lol
C Yards Jeff
My son and I were at the game last night. We like standing over the bullpen area at Camden Yards. You’re so close to the visitors pen, that they don’t mind having convos with you. Awesome. Anyway, the Os Vespi starts warming up. Cool looking dude? Yes. Long flowing locks and all tatted up. Cool looking arm? Not really, at least not to this amateur eye. Anyway, he gets the call in a tight game and gives up a dinger. Oof. Not surprised to see him sent down! In the Os system since 2015, he finally got his “show” shot this year. I root for guys like Nick. Wondering now if he’s done?
By the way, Rangers bullpen guys were sporting these really nifty looking short sleeve hoodies. I asked LeClerc if he had an extra one. Good guy. Looks at me, nods no and smiles. Love this game!
Vespi pitched amazing in AAA and the MLB until his last 2 outings. He just needs a breather and the Os need a fresh arm after a 10 inning bullpen game. Do you follow the team?
C Yards Jeff
@RedFraggle: great to hear. Thanks for the insight. I’m pulling for him. Yes, bleed black and orange since 65. Brooks Robinson is my hero! As far as today’s team goes, I am enjoying this Elias led rebuild. But, equally important, I like John Angelo’s hands off ownership style. His dad, Peter, drove me crazy. A passionate owner who too often, in my opinion, got too involved in the daily baseball decision making. John, on the other hand, seems to keep his distance. Grateful for that! You?
As someone who has met and spent a little time around Brooks, I can affirm that his reputation as a kind, humble gentleman is true.
C Yards Jeff
@Ra, you got to spend some time with him!? Woah. Thanks for sharing this! Cheers.
And I was Artie Donovan`s fixer one evening — really good guy.
“McCarty made his big league debut with the O’s this season”
No he didn’t.
They meant Guardians. They should read what they write before letting it go
Diplan doesn’t have the best of stuff to occupy a 25- or 40-man spot and he’s out of options. McCarthy has 3 more milb options. and O’s could stretch him out for rotation depth next year. And since bullpen is solid this year, Diplan could be an odd man out. All signs the O’s are making strides.
Follow most teams in MLB. Am more excited about the Orioles that any.
They do the fundamental things. Two of the most impressive I’ve seen:
1. When a runner at 1B is trying to steal 2B, he looks straight ahead to the bag and slides in. Today, even established base stealers take a look at the catcher as they’re running to 2B. This slows them down, On close plays it’s the difference between being in scoring position and being out.
2. At the end of every half inning on defense, Adley Rutschman walks half way to the mound meet the pitcher and talks with him on the way to the dugout. Always smiling, being positive. This is Rutschman’s way of letting the pitcher know it’s a partnership, and he wants to understand what that pitcher wants to do in certain situations. It’s a little thing, but understandable as Rutschman comes from a baseball family. I noticed this a week or so ago watching the games, and yesterday former pitcher turned broadcaster Ben McDonald brought it up.
The Orioles seldom make mental mistakes on the field. They’re a well coached and managed group of young players. Teams in the AL East are simply going to have to make room for them in the next few years.
Samuel – excellent post. Being 2200 miles away I no longer watch 100+ Orioles’ games per season like I did when I lived in the MASN area and had no kids! But I’ve had 2 baseball-knowing friends of mine both point out your #2 above. One watched Rutschman in the minors and says “this guy is not Wieters 2.0 he’s a superstar”.
The Orioles outperformed their expectations yearly in the Weaver years because they paid attention to fundamentals and also had a top defensive team year in, year out. The 1992 and 1993 squads played above their heads with that same approach under Oates. They still have a ways to go to bridge the talent gap, and I’m not confident the Orioles will ever bolster their SP staff with at least 2 quality SP’s (because even if they get a higher % of hits from their prospects, that’s only 2 or 3 rotation guys) and maybe 2 good offensive players to boost their offense from bad to at least average.
But at 40-44 my text to my friend was “they’re approaching competency.” Yet they’ll trade Mancini, probably Santander, have a tougher schedule coming up…they’ll end up around 70 wins. I had them at 61-101 so that’s a pleasant surprise if it happens.
C Yards Jeff
@Samuel: great post. Thanks! I was at the game last night. I stood “over” the bullpen area. Fun stuff! Both pens, Rangers and Os, we’re very active. Amateur hour here, but to me, it looked like different styles of management out there. Rangers coach seemed more macro, the O’s micro. When standing next to the pitcher when warming up, mood from Rangers coach was more free, loose, casual around the pitcher warming up. The O’s Coach was in position on the bullpen mound before the pitcher. As the pitcher walked towards him, he tossed the warm up ball to each pitcher. He also stood in the exact same spot during each pitcher’s warm up. And when he spoke it was a face to face communication with direct eye contact from the pitcher. So yes, agree with you about the Os ability to find pitchers from other teams. Based on what I saw last night, I’m thinking, in addition to physical ability, they also are looking for players who are comfortable buying in to a regimented kind of atmosphere?
C Yards Jeff;
I don’t know about “regimented”. Maybe you’re correct.
The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote something to the effect that: The difference between anarchy and freedom is self-discipline.
America has changed in the past 30 or so years. Many parents, teachers, work superiors. etc. want to be your best friend. Yuk it up with you. They don’t sweat the details. Unfortunately, the details are often the difference between success and failure.
When trying to accomplish something, what’s best to get across is to respect and make allowances for all variables that need to be considered. Notice that some teams including the Astros and Orioles don’t have players that act like 12 year-olds drawing attention to themselves when they do something good. Doesn’t mean they don’t celebrate as a team.
C Yards Jeff
@Samuel, great stuff! And from what I observed, detail centric indeed with the players seeming to be all in; at least out there in the “pen”. Refreshing to see!
Really don’t see why the Orioles would pickup McCarty besides the options he still has. Diplan might not be the greatest option but for the most part he has held his on during his time with the Orioles. Hopefully he doesn’t get picked up by another team.
He is left handed. You get a million opportunities if you pitch from that side.
Diplan is a fringe middle reliever w poor control . We’ve had him in the system awhile now and they obviously don’t see things working out.
The article states that McCarty made his big league debut for the Orioles. This is not true. He never pitched for the Orioles.