Summer Savings! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.

Orioles Insider

Sports Orioles Orioles Insider

Has Tommy Hunter pitched his way out of the Orioles starting rotation?

When the Orioles activate outfielder Endy Chavez off the disabled list today, they will have to make a corresponding 25-man roster move to create space for the club’s utility outfielder.

Given yesterday’s roster moves, which included activating infielder Mark Reynolds, the move would figure to include an infielder, especially because Reynolds' return creates a potential logjam at third base, making utility infielder Steve Tolleson the likely one to be optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

But after Tommy Hunter’s outing in Monday’s 6-2 loss to the Jays  – the shortest outing by any Orioles starter this season and Hunter’s shortest since August 2010 – the Orioles have to be considering sending the 25-year-old right-hander down.

The club also has off days between each series on the road, which could allow the Orioles to briefly go to a four-man rotation and keep everyone on schedule.

And Hunter’s psyche is shaken right now. He's yielded 10 earned runs in his last two starts, a span of just nine innings. He’s allowed 13 homers this season, tied for second most in the majors.

Just two starts ago, Hunter had one of his best starts of the year, a strong seven-inning, two-run quality road start in Kansas City. But he's been far too inconsistent this season.  His three-inning, six-run outing on Monday marked his fifth start in 10 this season in which he’s allowed five or more runs.

Both Hunter and Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Monday that Hunter’s chief problem is his fastball location. Hunter struggled to execute any of his pitches on Monday, and his fastball was elevated in the strike zone, a feast for fastball-hitting lineups like the Blue Jays.

At the Rogers Centre, Hunter has allowed six homers in two starts this season. He is 0-3 with a 7.31 ERA in five career starts in Toronto.

“This place gets me I don’t know what it is,” Hunter said. “I’d love to throw these guys anywhere but this place. I don’t know how good I am outside this place, but this place is sickening for me. It’s something you’re going to have to overcome if you want to continue your career. Bottom line, that’s it.”

Before the game, Showalter said there were three or four scenarios for today’s roster move, and that the club would decide following the game. Asked whether Hunter was in jeopardy of being sent down – he has already been optioned one this season – Showalter hedged an answer.

“We’ll step back here,” Showalter said. “We’re going to wait and look at some things and take a lot of things into consideration and see where we are.”

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Orioles in April

    Orioles in April

    Browse pictures of Orioles baseball games in April 2015.

  • Orioles Opening Day at Camden Yards

    Orioles Opening Day at Camden Yards

    Look through photos from Orioles Opening Day festivities at Camden Yards on April 10. The Orioles will face the Toronto Blue Jays in their 62nd home opener in Baltimore. 

  • Orioles player salaries for 2015

    Orioles player salaries for 2015

    With the 2015 baseball season just underway, USA Today has released its annual comprehensive list of player salaries. The publication gathers the data from "documents obtained from the MLB Players Association, club officials and filed with Major League Baseball's central office. Deferred payments...

  • All-Time Greatest Orioles

    All-Time Greatest Orioles

    In the six decades since they returned to the American League, 982 players have suited up for the Orioles. Who are the all-time best? Here are The Baltimore Sun's picks — six men at each position, except outfield and starting pitcher (nine apiece). We ranked the top six managers, too, from 1954...

  • Orioles Season Preview 2015

    Orioles Season Preview 2015

  • Orioles Insider

    Orioles Insider

Comments
Loading

79°