More responsibility put on Tommy Hunter in 2015
Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
In the second half of the 2014 season, Andrew Miller was arguably the greatest set-up man in the MLB. However, free agency and a better deal will make you find Miller playing for the a different team in the AL East next season: the Yankees.
With Miller gone, the Orioles need a new set-up man coming out of the bullpen. That is where right-handed reliever Tommy Hunter comes into play. The big guy from Indiana is entering his eighth season in the Majors, fifth with the Orioles.
In his four years in Baltimore, Hunter has 4.29 ERA with 225 strikeouts and a 1.251 WHIP. However, when he was permanently moved to the bullpen after the 2012 season, Hunter’s ERA improved to 2.81 in 2013 and 2.97 in 2014.
Hunter’s best pitch is his fastball which can reach upwards of 98 mph. Near the ladder part of last season, he was having more control in his off-speed pitches which kept the hitters guessing.
Hunter was put in the closer role at the beginning of the 2o14 season, but all of Baltimore knows that Hunter struggled to close out games without making the Oriole fans sweat a little bit. Once Hunter was put back in his normal role as reliever, appearing in innings seven and eight, he returned to his dominant ways.
With a need for a new set-up man, it will most likely come down between Hunter and right-hander Darren O’Day. However, with O’Day’s stamina, manager Buck Showalter will most likely keep O’Day as a middle reliever.
With that being said, it looks like Hunter will be the Baltimore Orioles’ set-up man in 2015 meaning his responsibility on the team will increase tenfold next season.