It is Tuesday and there have already been two spins of the Dan Duquette roster wheel since the week started. Alex Burnett is back for the third time. When he was acquired, I referred to him as some guy. He did not matter then. He does not matter now. He will soon be gone again when someone gets healthy.
In fact, he will probably be gone again as soon as Saturday, when the Orioles need a pitcher to start the game in the spot that was occupied by Miguel Gonzalez before his blister issue. Steve Johnson made one start in that spot, did not impress, and was optioned again.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Saturday start will be made by Jair Jurrjens, who is the next to earn a chance to come up and fail. Jurrjens was initially going to sign a major league deal with the Orioles over the offseason, but there were concerns about his knee, and he had to settle for a minor league deal. Were he not called up by June 15, he could opt out of the contract and become a free agent. He will become the 10th different starter used by the Orioles so far this year.
Jurrjens has certainly earned the chance to come up and pitch in the rotation for a while. In eight starts for AAA Norfolk, he's pitched to a 3.14 ERA over 51.2 IP, giving up only two home runs. He was precisely the kind of player the Orioles should be signing: guys who, if healthy, can contribute, low-risk with a decent potential reward.
As recently as 2011 for Atlanta, Jurrjens threw 152 innings and had a 2.96 ERA. Orioles fans may remember a trade that was once mooted that would have been Jurrjens and Martin Prado for Adam Jones. Prado is batting a cool .233/.285/.346 for the Diamondbacks this year. I have a vague memory of some Braves fans saying that they were giving up too much for Jones. Filed under: LOL
Because this is the Duquette roster wheel, there's the extra complication that Jurrjens is not presently on the 40-man roster, but that can be easily remedied by putting Brian Roberts on the 60-day disabled list. If Jurrjens pitches decently or better, he'll have a chance to stick in the rotation for at least as long as Wei-Yin Chen is out of commission. Given that Jurrjens is essentially the last round in the chamber before Kevin Gausman, that would be ideal.
Hey, it could happen. Unlike some of these other schmucks who've rolled through this year, Jurrjens actually has a track record of some big league success, with three seasons one could reasonably call good. Rather give him a chance than see Josh Stinson again. No offense, Josh.
Also, Yamaico Navarro has been recalled, but who cares?