It seems like the Orioles are just snatching up pitchers like those damn hungry, hungry hippos. And they aren’t doing it in the lavish fashion that a certain Southern Californian team is…
If you believe MLB.com’s Orioles beat writer Britt Ghiroli (and you should!) on Twitter, the O’s are close to inking recently-cut lefty Randy Wolf.
— Brittany Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) August 28, 2012
This potential move comes just days after Baltimore worked out a waiver trade with the D’Backs to acquire another lefty starter in Joe Saunders. Apparently the Orioles aren’t very interested in letting their Cinderella ship sink like the Pittsburgh Pirates seem to enjoy doing.
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All indications point to the signing being imminent, and if it does happen, it could significantly improve a struggling Orioles staff.
This willingness to make such moves shows me that the Orioles’ front office is very serious about their playoff run this season. Adding Wolf and Saunders to a top two of Wei-Yin Chen and Jason Hammel (when he comes back from injury) may very well be the deciding factor in Baltimore’s quest at a surprising playoff berth.
We know they have the offense and the bullpen, but the rotation has been shaky all year, and especially so after Hammel went down. Wolf has a lot of years on his resumé, but the numbers aren’t especially impressive in 2012: 3-10/5.69/1.57 in 24 starts with Milwaukee.
Despite some big time struggles in Milwaukee this year – hence the reason he was available in the first place – Wolf has a reputation for being a big-game pitcher and will bring invaluable veteran leadership to a very young staff. Ghiroli also pointed out on Twitter that Wolf might be primarily used as another lefty reliever, though some starts do seem likely.
Wolf isn’t all wisdom and experience though. I really believe the southpaw has some good innings left in the tank. If it means anything to you skeptical O’s fans, Wolf has a 2.89 ERA in September since 2009. That’s got to be worth something.
Anyway, a playoff race and a new home might do Wolf good. And if he throws well in the few starts he gets, the Orioles will be even more dangerous down the stretch.
I’ll give credit to CBS’ Jon Heyman for this tidbit: This move would potentially give the Orioles five lefty starters. That’s one way to neutralize the Yankees’ lefty-heavy lineup.
The Orioles currently sit just 3.5 games back from those dreaded Yankees, and holding on to a slim Wild Card lead. It’s the first chance this team has had to make the playoffs in a LONG time. Time will tell if this move pays off!
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)