It might be time for Baltimore Orioles fans to stop waiting for the team to sign free agent pitchers.
Instead, it looks like the Baltimore Orioles could be turning to pitchers who might not have much experience in the Big League.
The latest rumor about Orioles pitching in 2018 involves the 24-year-old, right-hander, David Hess. To protect him from the Rule 5 draft, the Orioles had to move him to the 40-man roster. Now, the team has to decide what to do with him for the upcoming season.
According to Rich Kubatko with MASNSports.com, the Orioles director of player development said about Hess during the Winter Meetings:
More from Orioles News
- Baltimore Orioles Sign RP Mychal Givens
- Gunnar Henderson: Destroyer of Four-Seam Fastballs
- Which Current Baltimore Orioles Pitchers Have the Best Curveballs?
- Orioles News: Should the O’s Pursue Eovaldi? + More MLB News
- Should the Baltimore Orioles Consider Signing Nathan Eovaldi?
"“He’s a starter. He has a four-pitch mix and throws four pitches for strikes. He’s logged 150 innings back-to-back years. Commands the baseball. He does a lot of things that you need a guy to do.”"
The last few experienced pitchers did not pan out well for the Orioles. Ubaldo Jimenez was not good and Wade Miley did not live up to expectations. Jeremy Hellickson did not do well, either. And, Chris Tillman had a bad year, too.
Hess is an attractive commodity for the Orioles because he is a home-grown pitcher. He was drafted by the Orioles in 2014 and has been working his way up the ladder in the minor leagues. In his four seasons in the Orioles minor league system, he has 84 starts and an ERA of 4.16. Unfortunately, Hess has not yet pitched with the Triple-A Norfolk Tides. But, in his most recent season with the Double-A Bowie Baysox, he finished the season with 26 starts and a respectable ERA of 3.85.
Will this automatically transfer to the MLB? If history is any indication, probably not. But, if the Orioles are looking to build a rotation and not spent much money, Hess could be an easy answer. He’s got the endurance to start in over 20 games and 150+ innings.
If the Orioles do decide to use their Rule 5 drafts and protected players in the starting rotation, then their 2018 payroll will be rather low. Could this be the plan that the Orioles are devising as a way to keep Manny Machado for the long haul? Only time will tell.