The Baltimore Orioles claimed righty reliever Louis Head off waivers from the Marlins, making him the next man in a series of bargain bin finds.
In the midst of an incredible run for the Baltimore Orioles, who see themselves with a record over .500 entering play on Friday, they made another waiver claim. On Tuesday, the Orioles announced they claimed right-handed relief pitcher Louis Head off waivers from the Miami Marlins. To make room on the 40 man, another recent waiver claim, Kirk McCarty, was designated for assignment.
Upon being claimed, Head was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, and is on the Tides active roster, much like McCarty was when he was claimed earlier this month. As I have done with previous waiver claims this season, let’s get to know the newest member of the Baltimore Orioles organization.
Head joins the Orioles in the middle of a tough Sophomore season in the majors. With the Marlins this season, Head posted a 7.23 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in 23 relief appearances, picking up one save in 23 2/3 innings pitched, striking out 23 hitters while walking 11.
In his major league career, which is two seasons, one with the Tampa Bay Rays and one with the Marlins, Head has a 2-0 record with a 4.30 ERA and 1.14 WHIP, throwing 58 2/3 innings across 50 career appearances, including two starts as an opener with the Rays in 2021.
Head features a three-pitch arsenal that he attacks hitters with. He throws a slider, changeup, and four-seam fastball. His slider is his most used pitch, being thrown 57.5 percent of the time. Behind that is his heater, used 38.3 percent, and his changeup has been used just 4.3 percent of the time, so he’s mostly a two-pitch reliever.
Taking a look at his Statcast metrics, those aren’t in his favor at all. He’s in the 11th percentile in exit velocity, 21st percentile in hard hit percentage, and the 18th percentile in chase rate, to name a few. Basically, what that means is opposing hitters hit the ball hard when they make contact, and it jumps off the bat quick, and they tend not to swing at pitches out of the zone.
He doesn’t miss many bats either, sitting in the 36th percentile in strikeout percentage, so he’s not a strikeout heavy pitcher. His walk percentage isn’t too great either, sitting in the 27th percentile, so he does tend to walk hitters, averaging 4.2 walks per nine innings this season.
In short, Head is not a big-name pitcher who will instantly turn the Orioles into World Series candidates. He’s a low-risk flyer, much like McCarty and Austin Voth, who the Orioles previously took chances on. We know that Voth has gotten better, so hopefully the same happens with Head.