NEW YORK---Desperate for arms in the bullpen, the Orioles reached back to their past, and signed Tommy Hunter, who was released by Cleveland on Thursday.
Hunter had an action-packed five seasons with the Orioles, and was traded four years and one day after he and Chris Davis were acquired from Texas, to the Chicago Cubs.
Now, Hunter who was in the midst of a rehab assignment at Columbus after he suffered a back injury when he fell carrying his young son down stairs, returns to the Orioles, and they’re happy to have him.
From 2011-15, Hunter was 21-20 with a 4.22 ERA with the Orioles, and in 21 games with Cleveland, was 2-2 with a 3.74 ERA.
The Orioles also recalled right-handed pitcher Oliver Drake from Norfolk and designated outfielder Julio Borbon and left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland for assignment.
“Well, we need some arms. We knew we could get through one day, and we knew we were going to go to seven today. [Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations] Dan [Duquette] and I talked a lot about how we probably needed two. But Tommy was available, and we got him,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Hunter is known for his ebullient personality, and Showalter thinks he can add a lot to the team.
“I think the experience. He’s done some work on his health, had some challenges that he seems to have behind him. We didn’t have to give up a player, and we like Tommy’s makeup. He’s been in this division before, and it’s a pretty seamless fit for our locker room. If you look at what’s available this time of year, Tommy, we felt fortunate to add him this time of year,” Showalter said.
Adam Jones isn’t in the lineup for Sunday’s game, but he shouldn’t be out much longer with his hamstring strain. The Orioles will start Nolan Reimold in center on Sunday, and needed a 40-man roster spot, so they designated Borbon for assignment.
“It’s tempting,” Showalter said of playing Jones. “The quick turnaround, if it was a night game I think he’d be playing. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. He’s getting there. He’s getting there.”
The Orioles are confident both Borbon and McFarland, who allowed four runs in two-thirds of an inning on Saturday, will clear waivers and return to the organization.
McFarland is 2-2 with a 6.93 ERA in 16 games. Borbon batted .308 in six games.
Drake who had a 9.53 ERA in four games with the Orioles earlier this season, was 1-4 with a 2.72 ERA with 10 saves in 47 games at Norfolk.
Showalter said the team would probably need additional 40-man spots when the roster expands on Thursday.
NOTES: Chris Tillman (shoulder) will throw on flat ground on Monday instead of Tuesday. Showalter said the earliest he could return to the mound was Sept. 9 or 10.
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