The AL East race has suddenly become more interesting with all five teams within 7.5 games and the Orioles find themselves in first place. Their pen has been largely middle-of-the-road in most statistical categories, but has worked 314.1 innings, the sixth-most in baseball.
Closer Zach Britton has enjoyed a renaissance season in which he owns a misleading 1.85 ERA, but a more inflated 3.27 FIP. Still, the 26 year-old never registered an ERA below 4.61 — or a FIP below 4.00 — in his three major league seasons prior to 2014.
Should Britton falter and regress towards his mean in the second half, Cishek would help cement Baltimore’s bullpen for the team’s stretch run. He might even be used in an eighth inning setup role should they keep their faith in their current closer. But you can never have enough pitching, especially in the hot-hitting AL East.
The Orioles have two catching prospects in their top ten — are you noticing a theme here? They are 23 year-old Michael Ohlman and 19 year-old Chance Cisco. I really like the latter, who is tearing up the Single-A South Atlantic League and projects as a solid offensive backstop.