Initially this deal was supposed to be complete back in mid-January. However former Atlanta Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens did not pass the physical due to his previously injured knee. The contract was originally intended to be a roster deal, however due to the physical issues, it is now just a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.
The Baltimore Orioles coaching staff is hoping that Jurrjens will be able to rehab while playing in the minor leagues to start the season. Jurrjens should not worry about not getting called up for a chance to make his mark. Buck Showalter and the Orioles had 12 different starting pitchers last season.
During his time in Atlanta, Jurrjens started out as a promising mainstay in the Braves pitching rotation. However last year Jurrjens dealt with his fair share of injuries and could never get back to his regular form. He posted a career worst 6.89 ERA, along with an alarming 1.86 WHIP in 2012 with just ten games started.
The good thing about signing Jurrjens is that is definitely a low risk, high reward type of move. With guys like Jake Arrieta and Brian Matusz, whom did not have a great 2012 season, it allows for more options for the team to explore. Jurrjens has proven his capable of being a reliable and sometimes dominant starter in the league. After all, Jurrjens was an all-star in 2011, which is something the Orioles pitching staff could use more of.
Even if Jurrjens can come up to spot start here and there and maybe contribute out of the bullpen would be helpful to the O’s. Look at guys that came in and did quite well last year. Randy Wolf and Joe Saunders were great temporary additions for the team to utilize during the run to the playoffs.