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Now closing for the Orioles ... Tommy Hunter?

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

Will Tommy Hunter be the O's closer in 2014? (USATSI)
Will Tommy Hunter be the O's closer in 2014? (USATSI)

MORE: FA tracker: position players | FA tracker: pitchers

You'll recall that the Orioles had a deal and then didn't have a deal with free agent closer Grant Balfour. Now, reports Roch Kubatko of MASN, the Orioles may look within to find someone to protect those ninth-inning leads. Specifically, they may look to right-hander Tommy Hunter.

The 27-year-old Hunter has made 91 career relief appearances in 166 games overall. In those 91 appearances, he's pitched to a 2.99 ERA (versus a 4.88 ERA as a starter) and 4.13 K/BB ratio. While Hunter does have some platoon issues overall, that would become much less of a concern in a full-time relief role, as he wouldn't need that third pitch versus the opposite side.

Hunter has just four career saves -- all recorded last season -- but as any number of teams have proved of late, there's nothing magical about closers. If you've got the skills and poise to be a good reliever at the highest level, then you'll almost certainly make a good closer. Hunter may become the latest example of that truth.

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