June 10: The Orioles announced that Sedlock has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. He will remain in the organization but without occupying a roster spot.
June 7: The Orioles announced Tuesday that they’ve claimed righty Austin Voth off waivers from the Nationals and designated fellow right-hander Cody Sedlock for assignment in a corresponding roster move.
Voth, 30 later this month, was long one of the more promising arms in the Nationals’ system but has yet to find sustained success in the Majors either as a reliever or as a starter. He looked to have turned a corner back in 2019, when he posted a 3.30 ERA in 43 2/3 innings with a highly effective, high-spin curveball helping him to post strong strikeout and walk rates. But Voth’s entire arsenal took a step back during the shortened 2020 season, resulting in a 6.34 ERA over the life of 11 starts.
That proved to be Voth’s longest rotation audition in the Majors, as he was moved to the bullpen the following season but struggled through similarly poor results. He’s out of options, so the Nats carried him on the Opening Day roster in hopes of Voth at last righting the ship, but he was clobbered for 21 runs through 18 2/3 frames before the Nationals finally cut bait and designated him for assignment.
Voth still has excellent spin rate on his fastball and elite spin on his curveball, so the O’s are surely hoping that a change of scenery and some new voices can help him translate that into effective innings. He’s been plagued by a .455 batting average on balls in play this season, which is bound to regress to some extent, but Voth is also among the game’s most homer-prone pitchers and has been since that ill-fated 2020 season. A move to Camden Yards and, more broadly, the mostly hitter-friendly parks throughout the AL East, isn’t going to help in that regard — but perhaps the Orioles have a new game plan to help Voth keep the ball in the yard.
As for the 26-year-old Sedlock, he was the Orioles’ No. 2 prospect at Baseball America back in 2017 and their No. 7 prospect a year later. Viewed at the time as a potential mid-rotation arm or better, Sedlock has taken several steps back, primarily due to injuries. A forearm injury, shoulder injury and thoracic outlet surgery have combined to derail the former first-rounder’s career to this point.
Sedlock came to the O’s with a four-pitch mix and an ideal starter’s build (6’4″, 220 pounds), but he’s now posted an ERA north of 5.00 in three of his five professional seasons and has never reached 100 innings in a single season. As Keith Law of The Athletic points out (via Twitter), Sedlock’s injury-plagued career is a cautionary tale for the college pitchers who are regularly overworked; the right-hander tossed 132 pitches over a 10 2/3-inning start in his junior year at Illinois, Law notes, before going on to toss 113, 106, 115 and 120 pitches on short rest over his next several appearances.
The Orioles will have a week to trade Sedlock or attempt to pass him through outright waivers. Given his pedigree, it’s certainly possible another club will view him as a change-of-scenery candidate, but Sedlock averaged 91 mph on his fastball in a brief and unsuccessful MLB debut this year (five runs in three innings) — and he has a long list of arm injuries on his resume before even turning 27.