For the second time this season the Orioles have optioned Tommy Hunter back to Triple-A, with the latest demotion coming after he failed to make it out of the fourth inning yesterday versus the Blue Jays.
Hunter has a 5.59 ERA and 31/14 K/BB ratio in 58 innings, allowing 13 homers and a .300 opponents’ batting average. He also wasn’t much good for the Orioles after they acquired him from the Rangers in the middle of last season, posting a 5.06 ERA with 11 homers allowed in 69 innings.
Triple-A call-up Miguel Gonzalez replaced Hunter on the roster, but the Orioles will likely look elsewhere for a rotation replacement because he’s mostly been a reliever this year. Baltimore also activated outfielder Endy Chavez from the disabled list, sending down Xavier Avery.
Earlier today the Major League Baseball Umpire’s Association made multiple posts on social media registering its displeasure at what it feels was the league’s weak discipline of Manny Machado following his run-in with umpire Bill Welke. It was an unusual statement, as it’s not common for umpires, individual or via their union to comment on such matters.
This evening, in an official statement, the league called it inappropriate:
“Manny Machado was suspended by MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who considered all the facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline. Mr. Machado is appealing his suspension and we do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players represented by the Players Association, just as it would not be appropriate for the Players Association to comment on disciplinary decisions made with respect to umpires. We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence.”
That final bit, about workplace violence, is something that I didn’t really consider when I read the umps’ statements, but it’s a damn good point. In an age where people are literally shooting up workplaces, umpires making reference to that kind of thing in response to a player throwing a bat is pretty rich indeed. And in pretty poor taste.