Friday, February 1, 2013
O's audition Rhodes
By Jason A. Churchill
The Baltimore Orioles' relief corps was strong in 2012, including holing left-handers to .245 average despite just one regular left-hander in the bullpen. If 43-year-old Arthur Rhodes was impressive in his audition for the club Thursday, he could join Troy Patton and right-hander Steve Johnson as skipper Buck Showalter's best weapons versus opponents left-handed bats late in games.
Even with Brian Matusz joining the bullpen in August and proving tough in general and even more so versus leftties, Johnson may be the reason the club passes on Rhodes; the 25-year-old dominated left-handed batters, holding them to a .169 average and .563 OPS. Rhodes did not pitch in 2012, but with the St. Louis Cardinals two years back held lefty hitters to a .245 average.
Patton also was stingy in left-on-left matchups.
If Rhodes catches on, he's likely to do so by way of a minor league deal and an invite to spring training. The veteran, who spent his first nine season in the big-leagues with the Orioles, could also catch the eye of another club in March, but needs a team to pitch for in order to do so.