Baltimore Orioles: Gabriel Ynoa Earned Himself Another Shot
The Baltimore Orioles have announced the starters for their series against the San Francisco Giants. The list includes RHP Gabriel Ynoa.
Have you jumped aboard the Gabriel Ynoa train yet? As the self-proclaimed president of the Ynoa Fan Club, I cordially extend to you a free ticket to board the train. Crab dip waffle fries and Natty Bohs are included at all membership meetings. All fans of the Baltimore Orioles are welcome!
After making his first start at the major league level since 2017 on Monday afternoon, the 26-year-old right-handed pitcher will make at least one more appearance as a starter with the Baltimore Orioles. He will get the ball for Sunday’s contest against the San Francisco Giants.
The Orioles announced their weekend rotation on Wednesday afternoon.
- Friday: Andrew Cashner vs Drew Pomeranz
- Saturday: David Hess vs Shaun Anderson
- Sunday: Ynoa vs Jeff Samardzija
Ynoa went just four innings on Memorial Day against the Detroit Tigers, largely thanks to a high pitch count. He threw 85 pitches (56 strikes/8 swinging strikes), which quickly became elevated due to some long at-bats and a plethora of foul balls. By the end of his outing, Ynoa had given up two earned runs on five hits, with one walk and four strikeouts. It was a solid start from a pitcher who hadn’t started a major league baseball game since 2017.
Despite dropping two of three to the Tigers, Detroit is not a competitive franchise and is all aboard the tank train, with about 20 other franchises across baseball. The Orioles were finally off Thursday, after 20-straight days of baseball, and now welcome San Francisco to Camden Yards for a three-game set. The Giants will give Ynoa a second opportunity to stake claim to a semi-permanent rotation spot, entering with a 2-8 record over their last games and series losses to the Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Miami Marlins. Neither of these games are hard tests for Ynoa, but effective outings against Detroit and San Francisco are a positive start.
The Orioles may very well find a fun way to lose to a struggling San Francisco team, but it would be a nice change of pace if Ynoa can find a way to throw another quality start (quality in terms of a solid start for a Baltimore Orioles pitcher, although an actual Quality Start would be fantastic).
Andrew Cashner has been consistent, John Means has been unbelievable, and Dylan Bundy is trending up. If Ynoa can step up as a consistent fourth option for the Baltimore Orioles’ rotation, maybe the bullpen can get some rest and we see a small domino effect of positives (emphasis on the small). Every small victory means a little more to this young and taxed roster of guys who aren’t just going to let teams walk all over them this season.
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Ynoa isn’t a high-spin fastball guy. While his fastball velocity (between 93-94 mph) puts him in the 63rd percentile, his spin rate ranks in just the 6th percentile among major league pitchers. His four-seamer has been hit extremely hard and often when used out of the bullpen. Here’s a look at what his four-seamer produced in his last few relief outings, before Monday’s start:
- 30% usage, 101.5 mph average exit velocity on balls in play, 0% whiff rate
- 24% usage, 85.6 mph EV, 0% whiff rate
- 24% usage, 103.7 mph EV, 0% whiff rate
- 26% usage, 104.2 mph EV, 0% whiff rate
Here’s what that pitch did in his start against the Tigers:
- 34% usage- most used pitch
- 92.1 mph average exit velocity
- -10-degree launch angle (that’s a lot of ground balls)
- 23% whiff rate
Surprisingly, it was his slider that he struggled with on Monday. I’m interested to see what his four-seam/slider combination can do against San Francisco. Can his fastball be effective for a second-straight start? Will his slider emerge as that wipeout pitch he needs? I’ll be watching with anticipation on Sunday afternoon, maybe even making the trek up to Camden Yards to watch it live.
The Giants enter this weekend ranked 29th in team batting average (.220), 30th in on-base percentage (.284), and own the 10th-highest strikeout rate in the majors (24.3%).