The Orioles have not had a start from a left-handed pitcher since October 1, 2015, and in a right arm heavy rotation, acquiring a lefty may be the piece needed to help this rotation take some of the load off of the offense. Through 75 games this season, those right handed pitchers have pitched to a 4.96 ERA, and fans have only been able to count on two of those arms to routinely keep them in games.
If the Orioles are going to continue to lead the division, and make a playoff run, a starting pitcher is needed to improve their rotation, and if they can make it a left-handed starter, that would be an even bigger improvement. There’s one left-handed pitcher that could possibly be dealt, that everybody seems to agree on.
Let’s meet Drew Pomeranz…
Pomeranz, 27, was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the first round of the 2011 Amateur Draft. He was dealt later to the Colorado Rockies, in a trade that sent 3 players from the Indians, to the Rockies for Ubaldo Jimenez. Pomeranz pitched in Colorado for three seasons, ending with a 4-14 record, and a 5.20 ERA in 30 starts. In December 2013, Pomeranz was again traded, this time to the Oakland Athletics, and through 19 starts in 2014, and ’15, Pomeranz compiled a 10-10 record, with an ERA of 3.08. Finally, in December of 2015, Pomeranz was traded to the Padres, and is now finding himself in the midst of his most successful season yet.
Through 15 starts, he owns a record of 7-7, however, his ERA is down to 2.76, and he currently owns a K/9 rate of 10.4. Against right handed, or left handed batters this season, Pomeranz is dominating. He is allowing a batting average of .186 vs. right handed hitters, and a .202 when facing lefties, and it’s worth mentioning only 5.6% of plate appearances have ended in extra base hits. Pomeranz is also attacking the strike zone better this year than any other season, with 28.9% of his counts going 0-2, and first pitch strikes coming at a 56.1% clip. Surely, these numbers could help a struggling Orioles rotation.
With contending teams such as the Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, and Houston Astros throwing their name in the mix for Pomeranz, the Orioles are going to need to give up something big in return.
The San Diego Padres aren’t anywhere near contention at 33-44, and are currently in the basement of the National League West, 16 games out of first place. James Clark, of the San Diego East Village Times notes that the Padres hired a defensive minded manager in the offseason and are currently ranked number one in defensive runs saved via shifts. However, there is still one position they are lacking at.
Eight different players have manned the second base position for the Padres this season, and there doesn’t seem to be any consistency coming in the near future. Through 77 games, and 676 chances, second basemen for the Padres have made 25 errors, coming through with a .979 fielding percentage. In comparision, Jonathan Schoop has started all 75 games for the Orioles at second, and has made 4 errors in 338 chances, with a fielding percentage of .988.
It’s not a deal that any Orioles fan agrees with, but it’s easy to see the piece that the Padres would require to pull the trigger on this deal. Are the Orioles front office employees willing to part ways with a defender that is one of the reasons the defense has been top 5 for the past few years? Not to mention, a hitter that will give you 25-30 HR’s each year, and is known for making pitchers pay for mistakes.
Baseball is a business, and sometimes it is a tough one; we must not forget that. Yes Schoop is Manny Machado’s best friend, and fan-favorite, however, are the O’s going to let that get in the way of bringing a championship to Baltimore? With the Padres farm system being loaded with catchers, and outfielders, it does’t seem likely that they’d accept a trade for any other player that doesn’t have a 6 on his back.