The Baltimore Orioles will need to add RHP Diillon Tate to the 40-man roster today if they want to protect him from eligibility in the Rule 5 draft. Here’s why they will, and who he’ll potentially replace
When the Baltimore Orioles acquired Dillon Tate from the Yankees, along with Cody Carroll and Josh Rogers, in exchange for Zach Britton, they were taking a chance on an early-twenties pitcher with good fastball velocity and who’d pitched his way into almost every top-100 prospect list by 2016.
However, over the past three seasons, Tate has struggled through an assortment of injuries including a hamstring issue in 2016, shoulder fatigue in 2017 and a quad issue in 2018. When Tate was with the Rangers, they tried to fix his mechanics which led to diminished velocity and a lack of control on the mound.
After Tate was dealt to the Yankees in the Carlos Beltran trade, New York let him go back to his old throwing motion and Tate regained the lost velocity. Tate currently sits mid-90’s with the fastball and can touch 98 with it. He recently added a two-seamer which helps him induce ground balls; a big help since Tate doesn’t have swing and miss stuff.
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In 307.1 career minor league innings, Tate has averaged just 7.2 K/9. Velocity can only take pitchers so far; if Tate isn’t going to be a high-strikeout guy, he needs to do a better job commanding his pitches in the zone. His career 3.84 ERA looks nice on the surface but he’s run low BABIP’s and left on-base rates in the minors.
Despite that, Tate has potential. Whether or not he sticks in the rotation is to be determined but if not, he should undoubtedly be able to contribute in the bullpen at the major league level. Considering the state of the rotation and the bullpen in Baltimore, Tate could be a valuable contributor.
Tate will be high on the list of eligible players in the Rule 5 draft if the Orioles don’t protect him by adding him to the 40-man roster. He would benefit from more development time under a better organization, which might be coming once Mike Elias puts his people in place. But there are teams who’d take a chance on him if he’s available.
It seems like an easy decision for the Orioles to protect Tate, solely due to the talent currently on the 40-man roster, specifically at the major league level.
A failed starter moved to the bullpen without much success, Wright has spent the past four years in Baltimore and has posted a 5.75 ERA and a 17.3% strikeout rate. He hasn’t been successful despite continuous attempts on the Orioles part to make him so.
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Wright has one more year of team control before hitting arbitration; he’s barely been worth the league minimum, never mind anything more than that. It’s time for the Orioles to move on from Wright, and this is a perfect opportunity to do so.
Susac showed promise in 2014 when he was in San Francisco but his bat has dropped off the table and possesses limited upside, especially for this Orioles team. Susac suffered a broken wrist earlier this year and missed the second half of the season because of it.
The Orioles will need help at catcher next year, but Susac is unreliable. It’s unlikely that the team has given up on Chance Sisco and will retain both him and Austin Wynns for next year. Whether or not they want to bring back veteran Caleb Joseph is up in the air, but if that’s the plan, it doesn’t make sense to keep four catchers on the 40-man, and Susac is the odd man out.
There are a couple other options for removal from the 40-man, including outfielder Anthony Santander, infielder Engelb Vielma, and RHP Ryan Meisinger. But if I’d guess that either Wright or Susac gets removed in order to retain Tate.
Update: The Orioles have designated infielder Engelb Vielma for assignment.
It’s not surprising to see Vielma get DFA’d, but there are still a host of guys on the roster who could receive the same treatment before the offseason comes to a close.