Diamonds in the rough: The emergence of the unknown relievers
After the Los Angeles Angels called up right-handed pitcher Kenny Rosenberg, they DFA’d righty reliever Jacob Webb. The Baltimore Orioles picked Webb up off waivers just two days later, and he’s been fantastic ever since.
In 4 major league seasons (3 with ATL, 1 with LAA), Jacob Webb has a 2.39 ERA, 105 strikeouts, 51 walks, and a 1.3 WHIP. Those numbers are already above average, which makes the Angels letting him go a questionable move, (after all, it is the Angels). What’s so impressive about Webb is how he’s improved since being acquired by Baltimore. In just 7 games with the Orioles, Webb’s posted a 0.00 ERA with 10 strikeouts, 2 walks, and a WHIP of 0.43.
We’ve seen the Orioles coaching staff do this before. Prior to being traded to Baltimore, reliever Yennier Cano had an ERA around 14 with 21 strikeouts in 18 innings. Since making his 2023 debut in April, Cano has an ERA of 1.68 with a K/BB rate of 55/10. He has as many walks in 55 innings this year as he did in 13.2 innings in 2022.
Many fans across Baltimore criticized the club for not making a huge splash at the trade deadline. With the emergence of Cano and Webb, Baltimore finds themselves with the 6th best bullpen ERA in the league (3.60). The group is also top-10 in saves (4th), earned runs (8th), home runs (1st), and strikeouts (3rd). If these guys can keep up their success, it will be hard for teams to come back late against these Orioles come playoff time.