Baltimore Orioles Acquire Vidal Nuño from Los Angeles Dodgers
The Baltimore Orioles acquired left-handed reliever Vidal Nuño from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for a minor-league pitcher.
In an effort to add pitching depth at the start of spring training, the Baltimore Orioles traded for Vidal Nuno, a left-handed reliever, from the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to The Baltimore Sun. In return, Baltimore is sending the Dodgers minor league right-hander Ryan Moseley, who last pitched at short-season Class-A Aberdeen.
Nuño, 29, gives the Orioles a veteran presence in the bullpen capable of pitching out of the bullpen or making a spot start. In 58.2 innings with the Seattle Mariners last season, Nuño posted a 3.53 ERA with 7.82 K/9 and 1.69 BB/9. During his time with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Mariners in 2015, Nuño was just as effective.
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said the team likes Nuño’s ability to work fast.
“Our scouts like how Vidal Nuño competes in the American League, and old school baseball people will appreciate how he works fast, throws strikes and changes speeds,” Duquette said via The Baltimore Sun. “We look forward to his contributions to the 2017 club.”
Nuño was acquired by Los Angeles earlier this offseason, but after the addition of Sergio Romo, there simply wasn’t room in the team’s bullpen to keep Nuño. By trading him, the Dodgers opened up a space on their 40-man roster for Franklin Gutierrez.
Dodgers expected to trade LHP Vidal Nuno to Baltimore to make roster room for Franklin Gutierrez. Nothing announced yet.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) February 19, 2017
After debuting with the New York Yankees as a starter in 2013, Nuño was shaky in his time in the Diamondbacks rotation. With a solid slider and changeup, the move to the bullpen has proved to be effective for Nuño. His fastball velocity sits in the high 80s, but his slider nearly matches his fastball by averaging around 84 mph.
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The addition of Nuño gives the Orioles much-needed bullpen depth in front of closer Zach Britton and Darren O’Day. It’s likely that Nuño will mainly serve in a middle relief role, but he can be stretched out to long-relief duty in preparation for a spot start. He made just one start last season, but made 10 in 2015 and has the stamina to withstand multiple innings.
One potential problem for Nuño pitching in the American League East is his penchant for allowing home runs. Last season, he gave up 1.69 home runs per nine innings, and had a 15.3 percent home run per fly ball rate.
But he did manage to strike out 51 batters in 58 innings last season, so he’s proven capable of handling himself in tough situations in the past. Given his solid command, Nuño has been able to quiet any concerns about his relative inability to generate ground balls.
Whether it’s in a middle or long relief role, Nuño has proven solid in the past two seasons to be a capable contributor for Baltimore.