The first place Baltimore Orioles, yes the first place Orioles, will have arguably their best pitcher this season, Jason Hammel, back on the mound tomorrow night against the New York Yankees.
Hammel, acquired in the off season from the Colorado Rockies along with Matt Lindstrom for pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, was placed on the 15-Day Disabled List in mid-July after undergoing knee surgery. Before the injury, the right-hander had posted a 3.54 ERA, 3.25 FIP and 3.48 xFIP and 2.7fWAR in 18 starts. His 23.1 K% this season is alarming considering his 12.7 K% for the Rockies in 2011. In 109 1/3 innings, Hammel has recorded 106 strikeouts.
The Orioles and Yankees start a huge four game set Thursday with first place on the line. David Phelps will be on the mound for the Yankees against Hammel, on a very special night at the ballpark, as the team will unveil a bronze statue of Cal Ripken Jr. outside of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.