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Orioles demote struggling starter Tommy Hunter to Triple-A

May 7, 2012, 4:16 PM EDT

Baltimore Orioles v Chicago White Sox Getty Images

Tommy Hunter is a 25-year-old veteran of five big-league seasons with 61 starts and 372 innings in the majors, but today the Orioles demoted him to Triple-A.

Hunter has struggled since Baltimore acquired him from Texas along with Chris Davis in exchange for Koji Uehara last July, throwing 105 innings with a 5.04 ERA and just 4.7 strikeouts per nine frames.

He was better than that with the Rangers, although just barely. Hunter had a 4.36 ERA and 5.1 strikeouts per nine frames in 266 total innings for Texas.

Jason Berken, a 28-year-old with a 5.34 ERA in 229 career innings, was called up from Triple-A to take Hunter’s spot on the roster.

  1. bmorelikeme - May 7, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    I gotta believe this decision mostly has to do with the fact that the O’s desperately needed to get some fresh arms in the bullpen after playing 39 innings this past weekend in Boston.

    The Birds also brought up Stu Pomeranz today.

    • sophiethegreatdane - May 7, 2012 at 4:30 PM

      Agreed. They are in desperate need of fresh arms in the pen. The O’s have shown willingness to let a pitcher pitch their way out of a funk — for better or worse. I still think Hunter can be a valuable piece of a rotation. Maybe not a front line guy, but he has the stuff to be effective, and he’s got youth on his side too.

      • bmorelikeme - May 7, 2012 at 4:52 PM

        Totally agree with this assessment of Tommy. I don’t think he’s ever going to be an ace, but I’d be content to run him out there for 200 innings a year around a 4.00 to 4.50 ERA. If something better comes along then obviously that’s ideal, but I think alot of clubs would like that out of their 5th starter.

  2. cptcliche - May 7, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Ummm…he wasn’t demoted because he was struggling. He was demoted because we had to use every single relief pitcher yesterday and we need fresh arms to face the Rangers tonight. Hunter was the starter yesterday so he has the longest amount of time to rest now.

    • atworkident - May 8, 2012 at 8:09 AM

      First rule of HBT never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

  3. bmorethansteel - May 8, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    Bigger question is what do you do with Matuz?

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