The move comes after yet another bad start from Eaton yesterday, when he allowed eight hits and seven runs in 4.2 innings in a 7-4 loss to the Yankees. Not only did Eaton pitch poorly for the Orioles -- 2-5 record, 8.56 ERA, 1.47 K/BB, 1.98 HR/9, .326 BAA -- but in his eight starts, he only pitched for more than five innings in two of them. And since he was pitching poorly and not eating up many innings, Eaton got the boot.
Asked about why the Orioles released Eaton, manager Dave Trembley said:
"The record and the way he pitched is pretty self-evident what the factors were.
"I just didn't see him being able to locate his pitches on a repetitive basis. The guy's pitched for a long time and knew what he wanted to do and worked at it. The hits just came in succession. It just seemed like big innings were what he couldn't stay away from. I don't think it was stuff or lack of stuff, I think it was the inability to locate."
Albers, though, will not take Eaton's place in the rotation; instead, he'll pitch out of the bullpen. The Orioles apparently will call up a starter from Norfolk to pitch on Tuesday.
After a decent 2008 season (3.49 ERA) that was cut short by a labrum tear, Albers hasn't looked the same. Opting to rehab the injury instead of having shoulder surgery, Albers struggled in the beginning of the season (7.71 ERA) before being sent down to Triple-A.
Albers will never strike out a lot of batters, but he's most effective when throwing strikes with his two-seamer and not giving up many walks. He also does a good job of keeping the ball in the ballpark.
In a brief and effective stint in the minor leagues, Albers posted much better numbers: 1-0, 2.25 ERA, 9 Ks, 3 BBs. If he's able to find his 2008 form, he could give the bullpen a much-needed lift.