Baltimore Orioles Trade With Philadelphia Phillies For Pitching Help
On Monday afternoon, the Baltimore Orioles and Philadephia Phillies completed another trade. The Orioles have received pitching help from the Phillies in exchange for International Bonus Slot money.
Monday was an off day for the Baltimore Orioles but the front office was busy nonetheless. The team announced that it had acquired RHP Tom Eshelman from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for International Bonus Slot money. Eshelman will be assigned to the Norfolk Tides (AAA) to help bolster the rotation.
Eshelman was drafted in the second round of the 2015 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros out of Cal State Fullerton. Elias had a hand in the drafting of Eshelman so there certainly is a degree of familiarity there.
In his five-year minor league career, Eshelman has compiled a 25-28 record in 87 starts (88 total appearances) that spanned 476.0 innings. He as a career ERA of 4.18, a WHIP of 1.34 and a batting average against of .281. While pitching at levels from Rookie through AAA he has struck out 382 and walked 107.
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Eshelman was a part of the December 2015 trade that sent SS Jonathan Arauz and RHP Ken Giles to the Astros; he was one of five players ( LHP Brett Oberholtzer, RHP Harold Arauz, RHP Mark Appel and RHP Vince Velasquez) sent to the Phillies.
The 2019 season has seen Eshelman pitch at both AA with the Reading Fightin Phils and at AAA with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. He started the year in Reading where he pitched to an 0-3 record in six starts and pitched 28.2 innings to a 6.28 ERA and 1.71 WHIP. Assigned to Lehigh Valley on May 18th, Eshelman has fared much better.
He made four starts for the IronPigs and has a 1-1 record with a 2.77 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 23 strikeouts and five walks over 26.0 innings. His most recent start was on June 7th so I expect to see him slotted into the Norfolk rotation by week’s end and possibly as soon as Wednesday (June 12th).
On the surface, this appears to be a move to add available arms to the Norfolk roster. The Baltimore Orioles have reached down to Norfolk for fresh arms this season and I have no doubt, if his performance warrants, Eshelman may be a familiar option for Elias and manager Brandon Hyde.
In no way does this trade make waves in the baseball world but what it does is add more depth to the system, especially where it can provide relief to an already taxed pitching staff in Baltimore. You can check out a scouting report on the newest Baltimore Orioles pitcher here.
Since the current international signing period ends on June 15th, I wonder if we may see a few more of these transactions as general manager Mike Elias looks to add to the talent pipeline.