Today the Orioles completed five Minor League signings, and most notably pitcher Asher Wojciechowski who was Houstons first-round pick in 2010. Wojciechowski had his best season in the minors last season on the Reds AAA team (Louisville). In that season, he only pitched in eight games before being called-up, but in those eight games, he had a 2-0 record with a 2.05 earned run average. He did not find the same success he had in the minors when he was called up to the majors. In twenty-five games, Wojciechowski went 4-3 with an abysmal 6.50 earned run average. If Wojciechowski is able to find the form he has in the minors, he could become a useful long reliever or emergency starter.
The other four signings made by the O’s were, Christian Binford, Perci Garner, Jason Gurka, and Luis Lugo. Little Major League experience is shared between these four players. Perci Garner and Jason Gurka are the only ones to be serviceable in the Majors, but it’s a small sample size. In nine career innings, Garner has a 4.82 earned run average and twelve strikeouts. Gurka has doubled Garner in career innings with eighteen. Unfortunately, Gurka’s career numbers are not that great. In his career, he has a 9.00 earned run average; and you thought Ubaldo was bad. The problem for Gurka has not been home runs, it has been not getting people out. Binford and Lugo have yet to make it to the big time. Binford in five Minor League seasons has a career record of 37-52 with a 4.28 earned run average. Lugo in his six minor league seasons has a career record of 37-45 with a 4.15 earned run average.
It is my hope as an O’s fan, and I’m sure everyone else, that the Orioles only see these signings as depth pieces. With the sample size that we have of these signings, they have proven that they can’t perform at a higher level. The Orioles’ recent track record when it comes t pitcher development does not bode well for their chances of improving, but one can hope.