Baltimore Orioles: Pedro Araujo Experiment Is Likely Over
Ahead of this afternoon’s series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Baltimore Orioles have made a roster move.
The Pedro Araujo experiment hasn’t produced successful results since the Baltimore Orioles used a Rule 5 draft pick on the relief pitcher last year.
The 25-year-old RHP has been designated for assignment with the addition of relief pitcher Matt Wotherspoon to the active roster. Wotherspoon spent all of 2018 in Triple-A with the Norfolk Tides and has yet to make his major league debut.
Entering this season, Araujo needed to spend just 17 days on the active roster before the Orioles could send him to the minor leagues to continue his development. Despite seven seasons in the Chicago Cubs organization, Araujo had just one inning of experience above High-A ball before being forced into major league service time as a Baltimore Orioles Rule 5 draft pick.
In 20 appearances last season, Araujo surrendered nine home runs in 28-plus innings of work and finished with an ERA of 7.71. Despite the poor results from making the jump to the big leagues from High-A ball, Brandon Hyde routinely commented on Araujo’s potential as a major league relief piece, once he was able to properly develop in the minor leagues.
That opportunity now won’t come to fruition, even though he needed only 11 more days on the active roster. The Orioles now have the opportunity to find a trade partner for Araujo before he goes through waivers and is returned to the Chicago Cubs.
He made just one appearance this season, relieving David Hess who was pulled from Monday’s contest with a no-hitter intact during the 7th inning. Araujo finished out the 7th inning, but not before giving up two earned runs on two hits and a walk, including a two-run home run off the bat of Randal Grichuck.
Matt Wotherspoon joins the Baltimore Orioles active roster.
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If Wotherspoon gets into this afternoon’s series finale against the Blue Jays, it will be his major league debut. He made 39 appearances (12 starts) with the Norfolk Tides last season, working a 2-8 record and 4.60 ERA. The 27-year-old righty struck out 105 hitters in 94 innings, giving up just 38 free passes.
With a 25% strikeout rate, a walk rate of under 10%, and an xFIP nearly half a run lower than his ERA, Wotherspoon doesn’t look like a terrible pitcher, on paper. It is important to note his increased flyball rate since working his way into the upper-minors (45-46% in each of the last two seasons). He’s a fastball/slider reliever with his fastball sitting in the mid-90s. Fun note- he is undefeated when pitching while I am in the ballpark watching live, for whatever that is worth.
Alex Cobb remains scheduled to pitch Thursday’s home opener against the New York Yankees, so Wotherspoon may find himself back with the Norfolk Tides by the time they begin their season in Gwinnett. If that’s the case, this won’t be the last time we see him with the Baltimore Orioles.
The Orioles look to complete their sweep of the Blue Jays at 4:00 pm today.