Orioles demote Jack Flaherty, but won't admit it

The Baltimore Orioles have taken Jack Flaherty out of the starting rotation for what they say is a short-term move.
Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles
Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

The Baltimore Orioles recently clinched their spot in the postseason for the first time since 2016. It was a testament to trusting the process of their rebuild, and it has panned out quite well. Now, they are competing with the Tampa Bay Rays to win the AL East crown and to earn the Wild Card Round bye.

As they prepare for their final stretch of the regular season, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde announced a change.

While speaking with reporters, Hyde revealed that starting pitcher Jack Flaherty would be available out of the bullpen on Tuesday night for their game against the Houston Astros. Hyde said it could be a short-term move, citing the bullpen being taxed.

Orioles move starting pitcher Jack Flaherty to bullpen

Flaherty was Baltimore's big acquisition at the trade deadline, as they looked to bolster their rotation for the remainder of the season and the playoffs. The Orioles traded No. 16 prospect Cesar Prieto, No. 18 prospect Drew Rom, and right-handed pitcher Zack Showalter.

Flaherty shined in his first start for the Orioles, striking out eight in six innings in a 6-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. Unfortunately for Flaherty, that was his last win for the Orioles, as he either lost or reached a no-decision in his next six starts. In his last start on Sept. 15 against the Rays, Flaherty struck out six batters but allowed three earned runs on six hits in a 7-1 loss.

Since joining the Orioles, Flaherty recorded a 7.11 ERA, a 1.674 WHIP, a 1-3 win-loss record, 38 strikeouts, and 12 walks in 31.2 innings (seven starts).

After concluding their series against the Houston Astros, the Orioles will face the Cleveland Guardians (four games), Washington Nationals (two games), and Boston Red Sox (four games). Flaherty will pitch in the bullpen ahead of these series, and it will be interesting to see whether Hyde will put him back in the rotation or keep him in the bullpen before the playoffs begin on Oct. 3.

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