In the off-season, the Baltimore Orioles elected to trade their closer from the past few seasons in Jim Johnson, and the club hoped that they would get enough production from right-hander Tommy Hunter to adequately fill his shoes. Unfortunately for Baltimore, Hunter has struggled mightily this season, and prior to Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Indians, the Orioles were forced to send him to the disabled list with a groin strain.
The Orioles have placed RHP Tommy Hunter on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 21, with a left groin strain.
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) May 22, 2014
For reference on Hunter’s struggles, the numbers speak for themselves, as the 27-year-old has a 6.06 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP on the year, and that simply won’t get it done. The issue with Hunter heading into this season was that he had a documented issue against left-handed batters, but during this shot stint (16-plus innings), he has been an equal opportunity offender in terms of allowing hits and runs.
In Hunter’s absence, Baltimore has elected to go with a closer by committee approach, but as we often see, that situation often turns into a one-pitcher format if all goes to plan. Tommy Hunter’s timetable has not been defined, but speculation is that he will not be gone much longer than the minimum, 15-day stay. It will be interesting to see if he will be reinserted into the role immediately.