Baltimore Orioles: Finding Intriguing Possible Waiver Claims
Should the Baltimore Orioles take a look at any players recently designated for assignment to make room for Rule 5-eligible prospects? We came up with five intriguing names.
As Wednesday night’s deadline to protect Rule 5 draft-eligible players approached, fans focused mainly on which prospects were added to 40-man rosters and who was left vulnerable to the December draft. But as Baltimore Orioles fans, paying attention to which veterans teams designated for assignment or released may be worthwhile.
With the addition of Ryan Mountcastle, Dean Kremer, Keegan Akin, and Ryan McKenna, the Orioles 40-man roster sits at 39 players. Could Mike Elias be combing through the waiver wire to try and find an intriguing new roster piece?
For the long list of rookies who now find themselves protected on rosters, it means more pay, a path to the major leagues, and acknowledgment of many years of hard work to better their craft. At the same time, a number of veterans lost their 40-man spot and now find themselves eligible to be claimed off waivers or traded for by another club.
With an open slot and plenty of holes to fill on the active roster, will the Baltimore Orioles try and go after any of these recent roster casualties? Each player was released for one notable reason or another, but there are a small handful of intriguing arms. Here are a few of those names that may be worth a pickup.
LHP CD Pelham (Texas Rangers)
A quick first look at Pelham’s numbers will send you running, but he’s still a young, very raw, and tall lefty with quite the fastball. Standing at 6’6″, Fangraphs had Pelham ranked as the 22nd best prospect in the Texas Rangers system last season, noting his 97-99 mph fastball and the possibility that he develops into “one of the better left-handed relievers in baseball.”
As mentioned in that same report, Pelham didn’t start pitching until high school and made his major league debut in 2018, despite logging just 19 innings above High-A ball in the Texas organization.
He spent last season splitting time between Double-A and Tripel-A, striking out 37 hitters in 32.1 innings (12/46 K/9 IP rate in AA). Over the course of his minor league career, Pelham has fanned 239 in 197 innings.
While his strikeout numbers and fastball are eye-popping, Pelham is erratic, sort of like another electric lefty already in the Orioles organization (Tanner Scott). He walked 40 batters to go with his 37 strikeouts. Walks have always been an issue for Pelham, but he took it to another level in 2019, while giving up six home runs. He gave up just eight from 2015-2018.
He has given up a lot of hits and walks up to this point in his career, but if Tanner Scott can find his control in Baltimore (three walks in 13 September outings), maybe they can help Pelham?