Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Oriole #904- Tommy Hunter

Tommy "Big Game" Hunter (not to be confused with Tommy Hunter, Canada's Country Gentleman) became the 904th player to appear in a game for the Orioles when he pitched in the 8th inning of last night's game against the Royals. He gave up two hits and an earned run, but luckily the O's had a three run lead at the time so it didn't effect the outcome of the game. He somehow earned a hold for his messy inning; I guess because the Orioles maintained the lead.

While writing my Chris Davis Orioles Debut post yesterday, I mentioned that I coincidentally happened to have autographs of both former Rangers who came to Baltimore in exchange for Koji over the weekend. This Hunter autograph was pulled from a pack of Tristar a few years back and I had completely forgotten about it. I uncovered it yesterday while looking for another card and totally flipped out. It was a great surprise and it was nice to not have to add Davis or Hunter to my need list. This card is kind of silly looking, and as always, I prefer my autographs in-person, so I hope to upgrade it at some point.

Big Game was a supplemental first round draft pick by the Rangers in 2007 and has pitched for them over parts of the past four seasons. Over 54 Major League games (including 44 starts), he is 23-13 with a 4.38 ERA. He is still only 25 years old and appears to be under team control through 2015 so this trade makes a lot of sense to me.

Tommy immediately stabilizes the Orioles constantly-in-flux rotation and should likely be one of the starting five for at least the remainder of this season. I hope that he can mirror his 2010 success when he went 13-4 with a 3.75 ERA and led the American League with a .765 winning percentage. Since Chris Davis homered yesterday after I suggested it in my post, my message for Tommy is to go out and pitch a complete game in your (anticipated) first Orioles start on Friday. Good luck Big Game!

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