It goes without saying that this is a huge blow to the Orioles, and will affect their plans at the trade deadline. The O's are currently five games above .500, and clinging to the second wild card spot in the AL by a half game over the Rays. Hammel leads the team in every major pitching category, including wins, innings pitched, strikeouts, and fWAR.
Baltimore performed a major shakeup of their rotation heading into the All-Star Break, demoting Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta and Tommy Hunter, while bringing up Chris Tillman. Tillman starts Monday against the Twins, while converted reliever Miguel Gonzalez starts today against Justin Verlander and the Tigers. Zach Britton makes his season debut on Tuesday in Minnesota, and Wednesday is when Hammel's next start was scheduled for. I'd assume the spot would be filled by one of the three players recently demoted by the Orioles.
At any rate, Baltimore is in a tough spot right now, and they showed signs of panic last week with the rotation purge. Now, it will be extremely interesting to see which direction they're going to go in, and whether or not the team is going to to trade for an experienced starter this month, or just stand pat with what they have and attempt to build for the future.
Photo courtesy of Daylife.com
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