With the Orioles bringing in a new pitcher to the organization on Monday, a day later there was news of a former Oriole joining a new organization. Jessica Kleinschmidt reported that the Oakland Athletics claimed former Oriole pitcher Spenser Watkins off waivers from the Houston Astros.
Former Oriole Spenser Watkins joins third organization of 2023
Watkins has been optioned to their Triple A team in Las Vegas, so he won't be with the big league club to start. Watkins started the year in the Orioles system, pitching in Norfolk. He was called up a few times but never appeared in a game.
Eventually, Watkins was designated for assignment by the Orioles towards the end of June and soon traded to the Astros for cash considerations. He was optioned to Houston's Triple A team, the Sugar Land Space Cowboys. He stayed there until he was DFA'd on Sunday to make room for Jose Urquidy's return from the 60 Day IL.
Now, two days later, he's joining his third team of 2023 in Oakland and the Las Vegas Aviators. In Triple A this season, Watkins has a combined 8.35 ERA and 2.05 WHIP between Norfolk and Sugar Land, throwing 46 1/3 innings in 11 starts and three relief appearances.
Watkins last appeared in the majors in 2022, making 20 starts and three relief appearances for the Orioles. He had a 4.70 ERA, 4.24 FIP, and 1.415 WHIP, averaging 2.6 walks per nine and 5.4 strikeouts per nine in 105 1/3 innings last year.
Across two seasons in the bigs, Watkins has started 30 games and appeared in nine more out of the bullpen, all with the Orioles. He has a career 5.85 ERA, 1.513 WHIP, and 4.97 FIP, averaging 2.8 walks per nine and 5.5 strikeouts per nine in exactly 160 innings.
There's a good chance that the rebuilding A's see some untapped potential in Watkins, and they might be able to get it out of him. With a team like the A's, it's fair to assume that there will be a major league opportunity for Watkins in the near future, especially given the fact that they don't have a lot of effective pitching options. Best of luck to you, Spenser.