The Orioles’ closer situation is well-publicized at this point, considering their signing-then-unsigning of Grant Balfour was in the headlines for a while, and we also learned they have talked with the Phillies about Jonathan Papelbon and have shifted their focus to free agent Fernando Rodney as well. MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports that, if the Orioles aren’t able to grab a new closer from outside the organization, Tommy Hunter would be the “clear favorite” to take over the closer’s role.
Hunter has been used as a starter for the vast majority of his career, starting 75 of 98 games in which he had appeared entering the 2013 season. However, in 2013, the Orioles used him as a full-time reliever with good results. Hunter posted a 2.81 ERA in 68 relief outings spanning 86.1 innings of work, striking out 68 and unintentionally walking 13.
Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna was arrested in Toronto back on May 8 on charges of assault against a woman and he has been on MLB’s administrative leave list ever since — that leave having been extended twice already.
Canadian authorities aren’t revealing any details about the case so as to protect the identity of the accuser and it’s unclear where MLB’s investigation into the matter stands at this point, but Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports opens his latest column with this note …
Toronto Blue Jays star closer Roberto Osuna’s domestic issue is said by people familiar with the case to be serious and involve allegations of a physical nature, which would draw a significant ban.
Heyman notes that Major League Baseball handed 15-game suspensions to Jeurys Familia and Steven Wright for domestic assault cases where there was no physical abuse — or none proven — and that Aroldis Chapman got 30 games after a police report revealed that he did get physical with the victim and also fired a gun.
It sounds like Osuna could be facing a suspension of at least 20-25 games, given the precedent. Again, though, we don’t have any actual details.
Tyler Clippard has been operating as Toronto’s primary ninth-inning man in Osuna’s absence.