Orioles’ executive vice president Dan Duquette confirmed today what everyone has been speculating for weeks: The Orioles need starting pitching badly, but there just isn’t much available right now as the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline approaches.
“This is a really thin market,” Duquette said. “There’s a lot of teams chasing a few pitchers. It’s about as thin as I’ve ever seen the market. But we’re going to see what we can do.”
The Orioles are using swingman Vance Worley and rookie Dylan Bundy in the back-end of their rotation at this point, and Duquette said his priority is making that unit stronger for the stretch run.
“We’re gonna try to add to our rotation,” he said. “We need some more consistency from the guys we have here and we are going to try to add to it via the trade route.”
Duquette was asked whether he could look to strengthen the bullpen to shorten games considering the weak rotation possibilities.
“Darren O’Day is doing a rehab tonight (at Double-A Bowie) and having him come back will give us a shot in the arm. We have a strong bullpen,” Duquette said. “We have Brad Brach and (Zach) Britton, (they) are amongst the two best in the league. So those guys are great. (Mychal) Givens is doing good work and I’ve been impressed by what Donnie Hart’s done since he’s been up. So I mean our bullpen is not really the issue. It’s really the consistency of our starting pitching. And hopefully we can address that.”
The question, ultimately, will be whether other organizations like the Orioles’ available minor league prospects. The system has been ranked toward the bottom of the major leagues recently, but Duquette seemingly every year turns minor leaguers into major leaguers for the stretch run. The effectiveness of those big-league additions have been varied.
Duquette’s team may also be looking for some outfield help.
Joey Rickard was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a right thumb ligament injury. Specifics weren’t released by game time, but because ligaments were mentioned, it sounds like it could require a lengthier stay. He’ll join fellow outfielder Hyun Soo Kim (hamstring), who is already on the DL. Dariel Alvarez was called up from Triple-A Norfolk to take Rickard’s place, but is viewed more as a reserve outfielder. Duquette didn’t dismiss looking for an outfielder in a trade, but, again, said the starting rotation is his focus.
“We could take a look at that,” Duquette said. “But our real need is on the mound.”