Jay Flaa Should Get the Next Crack at Opener

Griesser’s Suggested Change of the Week

In an unexpectedly quiet trade deadline, Mike Elias surprised me by not dealing one of either Jonathan Villar or Mychal Givens. Had he done so, I would have centered this Change of the Week around replacing either player.

When the dust had officially settled, I figured I’d have to dig real deep to make any sort of recommendation to the O’s GM for the upcoming week. However, I think I do have a little change he could make to help this team in the short term.

This week, Elias should replace Tom Eshelman with Jay Flaa, continuing to tweak the Birds’ opener strategy.

While Eshelman hasn’t been entirely bad, he’s been inconsistent throughout his time in Baltimore. In reality, though, the rest of the multiple-inning guys have actually been quite decent, making him the odd man out in that regard. I think Elias should move Flaa to the 40-man to take Eshelman’s spot, while trying to pass Tom through waivers with an eye toward re-signing him on a minor-league deal. If someone else picks him up? Eh, no biggie.

Jay Flaa pitching.

Craig Landefeld/GulfBird Sports

Flaa hasn’t necessarily blown people away in Norfolk, though he’s appeared in 27 games and performed just about as well as any other options the Orioles could explore.

I know the team is not really in dire need of improving at this particular role, especially given the fact that Eshelman, Wojciechowski, Aaron Brooks, David Hess, Jimmy Yacabonis, Gabriel Ynoa, Dillon Tate, and even Miguel Castro could fit the bill, but I think it’s become important to have as many of these guys as possible.

In my mind, if Givens, Paul Fry, Richard Bleier, and Shawn Armstrong handle the shorter duties, the rest of the bullpen should be entirely dedicated to throwing multiple innings. To have the pen set up that way, though, the names that Hyde can call upon have to be trustworthy.

Having allowed four runs or more in three of his four starts, Eshelman simply isn’t at this point.

Naturally, as the season comes to an end, we may see a bit more of a conveyor belt when it comes to the bullpen; Elias should effectively manage the arms to keep them fresh and see what he has in a number of players.

But at this point in time, Flaa represents an opportunity to call up an arm who hasn’t been given a legitimate shot yet. As I’ve written about recently, the Orioles should be giving as many players the opportunity to shine as they can.

Digging a little more into Flaa’s performances with the Tides, he is in the midst of a rough period, having allowed three, one, and three runs in his last three outings, respectively.

However, he’s gone through multiple stretches of time this year where he’s lights out over several innings. If the Orioles can unlock that sort of potential in Flaa, they may have someone who can keep contributing in Baltimore for the remainder of the summer.

With them being such a poor team, the O’s should be open to taking cracks at the next diamond in the rough, the next John Means or Hanser Alberto.

Since the team may very well play inspired baseball due to the unexpected success of those guys, Flaa could easily be the next man to enjoy a flash of success at Camden Yards.

This entry was posted in Bird Feed, Blog View, Featured by Aidan Griesser. Bookmark the permalink.

About Aidan Griesser

Aidan Griesser
Aidan Griesser is a student at Boston College but don't worry, the evil influence of Boston sports can't sway his devotion to the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles! Aidan's from Annapolis and previously worked with the B-More Opinionated podcast for two years. When it comes to sports writing, Aidan is interested...more

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