The Orioles have shored up their bullpen by completing a trade with Cleveland
On Saturday evening, the Baltimore Orioles completed a trade with the Cleveland Indians for right-handed pitcher Adam Plutko. In exchange for Plutko, Cleveland will receive either cash considerations or a player to be named later from Baltimore.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Plutko, the Orioles designated Yolmer Sanchez for assignment. This decision shocked fans as Sanchez was projected to be the team’s starting second baseman. Instead, according to RosterResource, the Orioles will start Ramon Urias at second base on Opening Day later this week.
This Spring, Sanchez is slugging a poor .190 over 46 plate appearances. None of Sanchez’s 8 base hits during Grapefruit League play have gone for extra bases. Baltimore hoped to get something closer to what Sanchez has exhibited over his previous seven seasons in the Major Leagues, most recently a 1.164 OPS over 11 games in 2020.
As for Urias, the same 8 hits over 46 plate appearances show up on his Spring stat line. However, Urias has turned two of those hits into extra bases, including a home run. Urias has recorded more walks than Sanchez as well.
The addition of Adam Plutko gives the Orioles the ability to play around with openers and piggyback starts. Plutko has experience as a relief pitcher and a starter, meaning it wouldn’t be outside of his element to experiment with new-age pitching tactics.
In 2020, Plutko made four starts and finished five games, recording one save. Over that span, Plutko had an ERA of 4.88 with 15 strikeouts.
With the recent additions of Matt Harvey and Wade LeBlanc to the starting rotation, Plutko will likely miss out on anything more than spot-starts. However, his style of play fits well in a long relief role, meaning he will be in battle with Bruce Zimmermann for the Orioles’ swingman spot to begin the season.