Baltimore Orioles: More noise in Birdland but still waiting on Pres, GM
Thursday was another noisy day in Birdland, as the Baltimore Orioles made a series of moves in order to get their 40-man roster back in shape. What these moves mean in terms of the rebuild
On Thursday afternoon, the Baltimore Orioles outrighted four players to Triple-A Norfolk: LHP Sean Gilmartin, INF Corban Joseph, INF Jace Peterson, and RHP Gabriel Ynoa.
Both Ynoa and Joseph agreed to minor league contracts with the Orioles, however Gilmartin and Peterson elected to become free-agents. The moves leave the Orioles with 36 players currently on the 40-man, however the four open spots are likely to be filled by Mark Trumbo, Austin Hays, Richard Bleier and Pedro Araujo when the group come off the 60-day DL tomorrow.
The Orioles signed Gilmartin in July and he threw 27 very lucky innings for the club in 2018. He posted a 3.00 ERA but the peripheral stats were terrible; a 5.42 FIP with a K-BB% of 3.5%, and he posted a .235 BABIP with an 88.8% left on-base rate. And considering his average fastball velo this year sat at 88.8 mph, it’s no surprise the Orioles decided to move on from Gilmartin.
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The Orioles claimed Peterson off waivers from the Yankees in April of this year around the time Tim Beckham and Jonathan Schoop hit the DL. He was claimed partly due to his ability to play all over the infield, and partly due to him being a left-handed hitter.
However, Peterson didn’t do all that much to help the Orioles this year, outside of eating meaningless innings. In 93 games with the Orioles, spent all around the diamond, Peterson hit .195/.308/.325 with a 77wRC+. He did steal 13 bases in 15 tries, but the 27.9% hard-hit rate and the 23% strikeout rate just aren’t good enough.
The Orioles signed Joseph to a minor league deal in February of 2018. He’d previously spent two seasons in the Orioles system, but he provides limited upside. Joseph played mostly at Double-A Bowie this year, posting a respectable .312/.381/.497 with 17 homers and a 143 wRC+.
Joseph has always been an average-to-above hitter in the minors, but he’s struggled to work his way into the majors, in part due to the limitations on the defensive side. Joseph and the Orioles came to a minor league deal, and he’ll continue to provide organizational depth in the system going forward.
The Orioles acquired Ynoa from the Mets in early 2017 and he was fine, if unimpressive for the Orioles last year, posting a 4.31 FIP in 34.2 innings. 2018 was a different story; Ynoa never got underway, suffering first from a shin issue which put him on the 10-day DL in early April, then shoulder inflammation in late-April which he would never fully recover from.
The organization might not have high hopes for Ynoa going forward; shoulder issues can be career-enders but this might be the most surprising move of the four. Just 25-years-old, Ynoa still possesses enough upside that I wouldn’t have been surprised to see them drop someone like Mike Wright over him.
Ultimately, we’re in the same spot we were yesterday though. The Orioles still don’t have a front office in place, and they’ve chosen to operate in complete darkness rather than with the transparency we’ve become used to. 145 days until Orioles baseball, and we’ve no idea where this rebuild is heading.