With the signing of Gregg, the O’s bullpen currently looks like:
VandenHurk / Accardo / Rosario
Patton / 2nd lefty (FA?)
It has been reported that the O’s will pursue a 2nd lefty to add to the pen. Some of the most likely candidates are:
I would imagine Ohman is probably the most likely. Each of them have their own pluses and minuses but are equal enough that you sign the one you can obtain to the best contract.
Each of those options are LOOGY’s that rack-up a lot of appearances over a minimal amount of innings.
I would rather the O’s give that spot to Patton, resign Hendrickson, or pursue Free Agent (and former Oriole) Bruce Chen. The argument for each is that they would be able to provide additional innings.
Even if you sign a LOOGY, Patton can still be in AAA and be an option for the rotation if there were injuries. With Norfolk last-year, Patton was 8-11 with a 4.43 era, 136 ip, 144 hits, 15 homers, 43 walks, 89 walks.
Frankly as much as I have complained about Mark Hendrickson, he could serve the same purpose of giving the pen more innings vs. the traditional LOOGY’s.
Overall my preference would be to sign Bruce Chen, as I’d be more comfortable with him as a swing-starter vs. Patton or Hendrickson. You could argue correctly that Chen did absolutely nothing in the bigs during 2007-09 (72.1 ip), but I think Chen’s 2006 and 2010 are superior to what Hendrickson has produced.
Chen, as reported by Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, is looking for a multi-year contract. It is possible someone gives him a 2nd year, but I think that might be unlikely.
This past year in Kansas City, Chen posted the following numbers:
2010: 12-7, 4.17 era, 140.1 IP, 136 hits, 65 er, 17 hr, 57 bb’s, 98 k’s, .735 OPS against, 0.55 G/F, .254 baa.
Against Lefties (139 at-bats) hitters batted .259 with a .756 OPS.
I titled this Ohman or Chen, as I think Ohman is the most likely to be signed and Chen would be my choice. Really it just the concept of a LOOGY vs. a swing starter. Which option would you prefer the O’s to use to fill out their bullpen?
Chris Stoner founded Baltimore Sports and Life in 2009. He has appeared as a radio guest with 1090 WBAL, 105.7 The Fan, CBS 1300, Q1370, WOYK 1350, WKAV 1400, and WNST 1570. He has also been interviewed by The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Business Journal, and PressBox (TV). As Owner, his responsibilities include serving as the Managing Editor, Publicist, & Sales Director.