The revolving door in the Orioles bullpen continues to spin around, mostly because the struggles of the starting rotation have necessitated a steady stream of fresh arms. The latest to join the party from Norfolk is Cuban-born lefty Ariel Miranda.
The 27-year-old Miranda is another in Dan Duquette’s line of modestly-priced Cuban free agents - as opposed to the top expensive guys along the lines of Yasiel Puig and Yoenis Cespedes.
Miranda makes for a bit of a surprising addition to the bullpen given that he has been used as a starting pitcher in the minors, but then again, that’s what probably has punched his ticket to the bigs. The Orioles need someone with the ability to go multiple innings after a short start.
If the Orioles have designs of having Miranda as a starter at the big league level eventually, it can’t hurt for them to get a look at him in person while serving in lower leverage relief duty.
It’s been a bit of an up and down year for Miranda, but he’ll join the big league club on an upswing, having pitched 19 shutout innings across his last three starts. Of course, even with that, he has a 4.06 ERA with Norfolk, so there have been problems.
To make room for Miranda on the roster, the Orioles have optioned Tyler Wilson to the minors. After Wilson’s most recent start, there’s nothing shocking about that.
The Orioles have an off day on Thursday as they head back to the East Coast and that will allow them to skip Wilson’s turn in the rotation until after the All-Star break. By the time the turn comes up again, they might want someone else to make the start anyway - possibly even Miranda.
Additionally, there was need to clear a 40-man roster spot. The Orioles have done so by transferring Brian Duensing to the 60-day disabled list.