The Baltimore Orioles have made their first move of the 2019 Winter Meetings.
We have our first move of the Winter Meetings out of the Baltimore Orioles camp and it’s a move common to the type of activity expected from Baltimore over the next few days in San Diego.
According to an official team release, the Baltimore Orioles have claimed right-handed pitcher Marcos Diplan off waivers from the Detroit Tigers. The move now puts the Orioles 40-man roster at 38, leaving two spots still open for the highly anticipated Rule 5 draft on Thursday morning. Ok, so it’s not really highly anticipated, but there isn’t much to look forward to this week as an Orioles fan.
As for Diplan, the newest member of the Baltimore Orioles organization originally signed with the Texas Rangers as an international free agent back in 2013 out of the Dominican Republic. Listed at 6’0″ and 170 pounds, Diplan has yet to pitch past Double-A ball and has already spent time in the Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, and Detroit Tigers organizations.
He was designated for assignment and claimed by the Tigers in late-September, therefore, he did not make an appearance with a Tigers affiliate, since the minor league season wraps up in early-September.
Used mainly as a starter throughout this minor league career, Diplan spent much of 2019 working out of the bullpen in Double-A for both Milwaukee and Minnesota affiliates. He combined to go 3-5 with a 4.85 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, and a .225 average against. He struck out 73 and walked 44 hitters across 68.2 total innings.
There are a few red flags with some of his career numbers. Diplan hasn’t recorded a walk rate under 12.7% since a stop in High-A ball back in 2016. He walked more than 14% of total hitters last season, while striking out right around 20%. These numbers are quite different from those of pitchers typically acquired by Mike Elias since taking over in Baltimore.
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Largely a three-pitch pitcher, Diplan brings a fastball with varying velocity reports. It’s reportedly touched 97-98 mph in the past, but typically sits in the low-90s, pairing with a slider and changeup, with him likely becoming a fastball/slider reliever out of the pen.
Diplan, 23, has an option remaining and is now the third reliever currently on the 40-man roster who has yet to appear in an Orioles uniform. The Orioles also claimed RHP Cole Sulser and RHP Eric Hanhold at the end of the 2019 season.
It isn’t an earth-shattering move, but Diplan’s promise as a reliever and option remaining could make him a usable piece out of the bullpen in 2020, if he can figure out the control issues that have plagued him to this point in his career. He’s still young enough to make it work.
Welcome to the organization, Marcos Diplan. I’m sure we will see you at Camden Yards before too long.