Baltimore Orioles: Sign two lefties with Major League experience

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 26: David Holmberg #64 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the New York Yankees during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field on June 26, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 26: David Holmberg #64 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the New York Yankees during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field on June 26, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
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Nope, these aren’t the pitchers that Baltimore Orioles fans were hoping to see added to the roster.

But, the Baltimore Orioles have signed two more pitchers to minor league contracts. Both are left-handed.

Where these two pitchers differ from the others is that they both have experience at the Major League level. One is David Holmberg, who last pitched for the Chicago White Sox. The other is Elvis Araujo from the Philadelphia Phillies. These signings were reported by several sources.

Details about Holmberg

Holmberg is 26 years old and was drafted by the White Sox in 2009. He stands 6’3 and weighs 245 pounds. But, he did not make his debut in Chicago. He has been involved in several trades that have moved him to the Arizona Diamondbacks and then to the Cincinnati Reds. In 2015, he earned his free agency from the Reds, then was signed by the Braves. The Braves never gave him time on the mound and he was released in 2016. He then was re-signed by the White Sox.

In this time, he has put together a career ERA of 5.49 with a WHIP of 1.680 in 51 games and 19 starts. According to Fangraphs, his fastball averages around 88 MPH. He has a sinker that averages 87 MPH. His changeup and slider are in the low 80s. He also has a curveball in the low 70s.

He pitched in 51 games in 2017 with the White Sox. And, honestly, he wasn’t bad. His ERA through the end of August was 3.55. He struggled in September in his last few innings, but so did the majority of the Orioles in 2017. As a swingman, he had seven starts. In 2016, he didn’t pitch in the Major Leagues at all.

Oddly, Holmberg has not yet been invited to spring training.

ATLANTA, GA – MAY 11: Pitcher Elvis Araujo
ATLANTA, GA – MAY 11: Pitcher Elvis Araujo /

Who is Araujo?

The other pitcher that the Orioles signed is Elvis Araujo. He is also 26 years old, but stands 6’7 and weighs 275 pounds. For comparison, CC Sabathia stands 6’6 and weighs 300 pounds. Araujo is from the baseball powerhouse town Maracaibo, Venezuela. He was signed by the Cleveland Indians in 2007 where he stayed until 2014 when he became a free agent. The Phillies signed him and he pitched in 2015 and 2016. They released him and he spent 2017 pitching in Japan and Venezuela.

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Throughout his career, Araujo has a career ERA of 3.80. In the MLB, his ERA with the Phillies was 4.35. He began his career in the minors as a starter but transitioned to the pen in 2014. With the Phillies, he pitched in 72 games and closed 14 of them.

Araujo’s velocity

According to Fangraphs, his velocity is a bit higher than Holmberg’s. Araujo’s fastball averages in the low 90s. Also, he has a sinker with the same speeds. He throws a changeup that averages around 87 MPH and he has a slider in the mid-80s.

No invite to spring training

Why neither of these pitchers have been invited to spring training is odd. Interestingly, they both have ERAs that are better than most of the pitching staff had in 2017. Also, they both have experience in the MLB and elsewhere that other pitchers do not have. It is highly likely that these two will pitch in Triple-A where they could be ready for call-ups.

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Unfortunately, according to Roster Resource, Holmberg does not have any more options, so if he is moved, he has to stay. Araujo most likely does not have any options remaining either.