In a strategic move aimed at bolstering their playoff chances, the Baltimore Orioles have shifted starting pitcher Jack Flaherty to the bullpen after his acquisition in a significant trade deadline deal.
Orioles Manager Brandon Hyde announced the decision, emphasizing the team’s desire to maximize their short-term success.
Flaherty, who was initially known for his starting role, has wholeheartedly embraced the transition.
Hyde praised the pitcher’s professionalism and commitment to the team’s success, stating” “He’s been such a pro about it. I’ve been talking to him about it the last few days as a possibility. He’s a total team guy. Really, really impressed with his professionalism. Truly, he really just wants to help this team win somehow, and if he can do it in that way, we’ll see.”
This move comes as the Orioles find themselves locked in a fierce battle with the Tampa Bay Rays for the top spot in the American League East.
Jack Flaherty on his reaction when he learned he'd be in the bullpen:
"Just give me the ball, see what happens. It’s a good thing. If he wants to give you the ball in bigger spots like there, getting seven, eight and to start the ninth inning there, that shows some trust."
— Jacob Calvin Meyer (@jcalvinmeyer) September 20, 2023
Having already secured a playoff berth, the Orioles are focused on winning the division title and making a deep postseason run.
With the return of John Means from injury, the team now boasts six starting pitchers, prompting Hyde to trim the rotation down with this decision.
Flaherty, who joined the Orioles earlier this season, has had mixed results since donning the orange and black.
Overall, he holds an 8-9 record with a 4.96 ERA for the season. With the Orioles, he has made eight appearances and pitched to a 6.68 ERA, earning a 1-3 record in those outings.
The 27-year-old California native is currently in his seventh year in the big leagues, and his performance will be closely watched as he takes on the bullpen role.
Flaherty’s career boasts a lifetime record of 42-34, with the impending free agency at the end of the season adding another layer of intrigue to his role change.
What do you think of the Orioles decision?
Looking at the big picture, is Baltimore legitimate World Series contenders???