May 10, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Tommy Hunter (29) delivers a pitch in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Orioles won 9-6 in 10 innings. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Orioles: 2 Years of Davis and Hunter

Some of the Orioles beat writers are looking back two years ago upon the occasion of the trade deadline (one hour away as I post this) and reflecting upon what they wrote at that season about the acquisition of Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis (obtained in return for Koji Uehara). It looks like an insanely incredible deal for the Orioles at this point! But how did it look to everyone on this date in 2011?

I looked back to see what I had written about it as an independent blogger – to a time before I was writing for Birds Watcher and the FanSided Network. My memory is that I believed it to be a good deal, while hating to see the loss of Uehara – whom I continue to regard as a highly effective reliever (his current career WHIP is 0.884!).

But here is what I wrote on this date in 2011:

Hate To See Uehara Go

Koji Uehara, more than any other Orioles pitcher, is my kind of guy. He is the one thrower on the team (probably along with Johnson) who would not drive me crazy in the dugout if I were the manager. He throws strikes – lots of them, effectively.

I hate to see him go.

But I will not say that it is a bad move … today. Maybe next month or next year I will say it! But the reality is that there is no season remaining – beyond trying to find pieces for the future. Yes, we are back to that. Will the players in return be pieces for the future? It looks like they could be, but only time will tell.

So good luck to the little man with the giant, bright-colored glove. I’d find joy in seeing him succeed in post-season play.

We have sent away a quality baseball player. The Texas Rangers have gained an effective tool.

So, while grieving the loss, there was reason to hope and believe the Orioles pulled off a decent deal. But I doubt anyone thought it would be as great as it has turned out.

Truthfully at that time, it was Hunter who looked like the better piece. He was pitching reasonably well in relief with a 2.93 ERA; however, it was only over 8 games, since Tommy had begun the year with a groin injury. But again, he had also posted a 13-4 record the previous season.

There was no doubt that the Chris Davis part of the deal represented potential power. That was evident from both his numbers in the minors and his stints with the Rangers. Yet his average was not particularly high, while his strikeout numbers were substantial. He looked liked the second coming of Mark Reynolds, without the OBP from BBs.

They say that “all’s well that ends well.”  Well, speaking of wells, I’m hoping there is a lot more in the Davis/Hunter well … though we have to say that all is quite well already … until maybe Uehara – now with the Red Sox – strikes out Davis at the critical moment of the critical game at the end of the season.

(I probably should not have written that last line … let’s think more happy thoughts … let’s remember that Davis had a critical hit in that final game with Boston in 2011 – before Robert Andino’s liner that won the game!)

Tags: Baltimore Orioles Chris Davis Koji Uehara Tommy Hunter

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