Baltimore Orioles Cut Ties With Two Minor League Pitchers
By Nick Stevens
The Baltimore Orioles have cut ties with two minor league pitchers today, both of whom saw time in the big leagues this season.
While we probably shouldn’t expect to see many big names join the Baltimore Orioles active roster in September, fans can expect to see a lot of roster movement over the next few weeks. With essentially a full season of evaluation complete, Mike Elias has recently cut ties with a handful of players in the system and is sure to continue to say goodbye to players not expected to contribute down the line.
On Monday afternoon, two more players were released from their contracts from Triple-A Norfolk, right-handed pitchers Josh Lucas and Matt Wotherspoon. Both pitchers spent time in the major leagues this season.
Lucas, 28, was signed to a minor league deal last offseason and saw nine games with the Baltimore Orioles this season. Logging 15.2 innings, Lucas posted a 5.74 ERA and 1.34 WHIP while striking out 16 and walking seven. He also recorded his first and only career save at the major league level.
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With Triple-A Norfolk, the 6’6″ righty was 0-2 with a 6.85 ERA, 1.73 WHIP, and a .302 batting average against. His last outing came on Saturday as the Tides used a bullpen game for game two of a doubleheader in Syracuse, New York. Despite giving up just one earned run across his previous eight appearances, Lucas gave up four earned runs on five hits in just one inning of work.
Wotherspoon, 27, was originally acquired back in July of 2017 in a trade with the New York Yankees (Orioles sent over cash considerations). He finished his first season in the Orioles organization with a 2.20 ERA and limited opponents to a .202 average across 28.2 innings with Norfolk.
Those numbers took a step back in 2018 as Wotherspoon spent the entire season in Triple-A. Making 39 appearances (12 starts), Wotherspoon worked to a 4.60 ERA and 1.41 WHIP, but did strike out 105 International League hitters in 94 innings.
He was rewarded early this season with his first major league action, throwing two innings on the road against Toronto back on April 3rd. He made two total appearances this season with the Orioles, allowing eight runs on ten hits across 4.2 innings.
Before his release, Wotherspoon was 5-2 with a 5.54 ERA and 1.42 WHIP with Norfolk. Despite giving up just one earned run across 6.1 August innings, his body of work this season wasn’t enough to continue with the organization.
The Baltimore Orioles begin a three-game set against the Kansas City Royals on Monday night at Camden Yards. The Birds have won just one game over their last 13 contests.