The Orioles made a few minor moves on Thanksgiving Eve. These moves consisted of designating RHP Thomas Eshelman for assignment and picking up infielder/outfielder Chris Shaw off waivers from the San Francisco Giants.
In 2020, Thomas Eshelman certainly showed some promise but was ultimately an inning eater by design. The 26-year-old righty made his MLB debut with the Orioles in 2019, but it was clear not much more would come of that. Although 2020 was a big improvement with a 3-1 record and 3.89 ERA, it shows the Orioles have arms in the farm that are better and ready.
In 12 games in 2020, compared to 10 in 2019, Eshelman surrendered 13 less hits than the year before and 14 less runs. A much better defense in 2020 definitely helped, while better control, less walks, and keeping the ball in the yard more nearly cut his ERA in half from his 2019 campaign. He gave up 12 home runs in 2019 to seven in 2020. These numbers surely will land Eshelman a risk-free waiver deal somewhere, where he certainly could come around.
After being designated for assignment by the San Francisco Giants, utility man Chris Shaw was claimed off waivers by the Orioles. An older draft pick in 2015, the 27-year-old has only played in 38 major league games between 2018 and 2019. In that time, Shaw has 11 hits with seven RBI, one home run, and seven walks.
This seems like a clear depth move, as he can play really anywhere on the field, while delivering a left-handed bat that can walk a lot. Not someone you will see very often, and unless he is a late bloomer, Shaw isn’t going to surprise many people. He could be serviceable as a depth piece and help our regular fielders rest, as we expect to enter a regular 162-game season again in 2021.