There comes a time for all great Orioles when it’s time for the team to move on. Three springs ago, fans watched Nick Markakis suit up in right field for the Braves. For many, it brought a similar guttural reaction to seeing Brian Roberts in a Yankees uniform for 91 games in 2014, or even Brady Anderson’s 34 games for the Indians in 2002.
Next year, the Orioles faithful will hopefully be dealing with seeing another Birdland legend in another team’s uniform. Yesterday, the Orioles announced that Jeremy Hellickson will miss his final start and will be shut down for the season. After a tenure on the O’s nearly as long as Jim Thome’s, it will be a sad farewell, at least for opponents.
The O’s said goodbye to Hyun Soo Kim and Garrett Cleavinger on July 28th in a deal with the Phillies for Hellickson and his 4.73 ERA. It threw the Orioles fans hoping for a rebuild into a panic, but in reality the team didn’t give up much of anything. Certainly not for a stud like Hellickson, who at the time still had an ERA lower than every Orioles starter other than Dylan Bundy.
Wait, why did we think we could make the playoffs again? Sorry, I digress.
Getting back to the point, let’s take a look at the highlights of Orioles great, Jeremy Hellickson.
August 4, 2017
Hellickson’s first start in an Orioles uniform was his finest. Eager to prove his worth to his new team, the righty tossed seven scoreless innings against the Royals and reminded all of Baltimore what quality starting pitching looks like. He only gave up five hits and stuck out three on his way to picking up his first AL win since 2014 with the Rays. He got into one jam in the sixth inning but escaped it by forcing a dribbler to first base to get out of the inning. After start number one, it was so far so good for Jeremy and the Orioles.
August 25, 2017
In an effort to bounce back from the seven earned runs he allowed in the start previous, Hellickson took the mound on the 25th and dominated the Red Sox on the way to a 16-3 Orioles blowout. Hellickson threw seven innings this time too, only surrendering four hits. The Red Sox managed three runs against the Orioles starter, but only two were earned thanks to a Jonathan Schoop error.
And yeah, those were Hellickson’s two wins in an Orioles uniform. Soak them all in. Every last one.
To be fair, he actually tossed three other quality starts, but all were of the six innings, three earned runs variety and Hellickson picked up the loss in all three.
In total, Hellickson went 2-6 for the Birds. His WAR of -0.9 ranked third worst on the O’s behind Tillman and Ubaldo, which is actually pretty impressive considering Hellickson only appeared in ten games. As for his ERA, let’s just say if he was trying to pay homage to the late Cal Ripken Sr in the form of his earned run average, he only came three-hundredths away.
Hellickson was a pretty awful pitcher for the O’s. Add him to the long list of others. It certainly shouldn’t be tough to replace his production in 2017. Just be thankful we didn’t sign him for four years and $50 million.