Orioles prospect Jake Arrieta to debut against Yankees tomorrow

1 Comment

Now that all service time considerations are moot top prospects are being called up in waves. Stephen Strasburg and Mike Stanton debuted last night, Brad Lincoln and Jose Tabata are being called up today, and Jake Arrieta is set to join the Orioles’ rotation tomorrow night against the Yankees.
Arrieta signed for $1.1 million as a fifth-round pick in 2007 and has since emerged as one of the better right-handed pitching prospects in the American League. He posted a 3.40 ERA and 148/56 K/BB ratio in 150.2 innings between Double-A and Triple-A last season and has been even better this year with a 1.85 ERA and 64/34 K/BB ratio in 73 innings at Triple-A.
His control has been shaky, but Arrieta misses lots of bats with a good fastball-slider combination and projects as a potential middle-of-the-rotation starter (or perhaps a late-inning reliever, if his control remains an issue). He’s already 24 years old, so after 28 good starts at Triple-A it makes sense for the Orioles to give him a shot, although I’m not sure if facing the Yankees is a particularly good idea for any pitcher’s debut.

Report: Yankees, Reds finalizing trade for Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray
Getty Images
5 Comments

Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.

According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.

Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.