Before Monday’s game against the Detroit Tigers, it was announced that the Baltimore Orioles will not be using Mychal Givens as a closer, for the time being.
Entering 2019, Mychal Givens figured to be one of the more reliable pieces of a young and inexperienced roster. The Baltimore Orioles reliever now finds himself struggling to close out games and out as the team’s closer.
As reported by MLB.com’s Joe Trezza before Monday’s game against the Detroit Tigers, Brandon Hyde will look to use Givens in lower-leverage situations, for the time being, looking elsewhere for options to close out ballgames.
There’s no other way to put this, but Mychal Givens has been pretty bad, no expert analysis needed. He owns an 0-3 record and 6.75 ERA in 10 appearances this month, giving up three home runs and posting a 14/9 K/BB ratio in 10.2 innings of work. Overall, Givens has a 5.56 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, has given up 13 walks in 22.2 innings, and has issued five long-balls. He has converted just four of his seven save opportunities.
All three of his losses have come since May 20th and his ERA has ballooned from 2.75 to 5.56 in just ten days. After giving up seven hits in his four outings since the 20th, hitters went from hitting .203 against the former Baltimore Orioles closer, to hitting .253.
Givens entered the 8th inning of last Monday’s game against the Yankees with the lead, giving up home runs to Gleyber Torres and Gary Sanchez (five earned runs on four hits in all) and costing the Orioles a win against their American League East rivals. Just a few days later, also against the Yankees, Givens walked three hitters in one inning of work, giving New York another victory.
Things didn’t get better for Givens when Baltimore traveled to Colorado to take on the Rockies. Entering the 9th inning of a tied game on Friday, Givens issued a single to Ryan McMahon before giving up a walk-off home run to Trevor Story.
Who will close games for the Baltimore Orioles?
Brandon Hyde didn’t have an immediate answer as to who would be the new closer for the Orioles. Joe Trezza threw out two possible options in Shawn Armstrong and Branden Kline. Paul Fry is another name that deserves a shot, but his high walk numbers and low strikeout totals are a little concerning. In all likelihood, Hyde uses the hot hand to close out games, but Branden Kline has earned the opportunity to be trusted when the game is on the line.
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The rookie out of the University of Virginia has given up two earned runs across his last nine innings of work and has seven strikeouts in his last 3.2 innings (no walks, two hits).
As for the other option, Shawn Armstrong has a 2.70 ERA since joining the Orioles and is averaging one strikeout per inning. Outside of giving up two home runs the other day against Colorado, Armstrong has been a reliable option and looks to be another solid pickup by Mike Elias.
A few weeks ago, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Orioles were already fielding offers for Mychal Givens. His recent struggles aren’t helping his trade value. He will now be used in low-leverage situations, as he works his way back to climbing the mound when the game is on the line. Ideally, Givens figures it out and showcases his ability to be effective late in games, helping to bring back something of value.
At the time of publishing, the Orioles lead the Tigers by one run. We may get an immediate look at Givens’ replacement.