The Orioles’ 7th round draft pick in 2009, Aaron Wirsch made his debut with the GCL Orioles the same year, throwing 16.2 innings with a 2.16 ERA and 18 strikeouts. Joe Jordan said “I wish we could sign five every year just like him.”
An oblique injury kept Wirsch in extended spring training and prevented him from opening 2010 in Delmarva’s rotation, as he should have. As a result, Wirsch was forced to return to the GCL, where he pitched just 8.1 innings. With one week left in the regular season he made the trip up to Aberdeen in order to make one start, where he pitched 3 innings. Like many other 2009 draftees Wirsch’s season was taken away by an injury and set him back a year.
In an interview with MASN, Joe Jordan said Wirsch’s changeup is better than the one Brian Matusz had coming out of high school. His changeup serves as his out pitch and can allow him to absolutely dominate at times.
When I spoke with Wirsch over the summer he told me his curveball also serves as his out pitch and can be better than his changeup on certain days. Wirsch’s left handedness, outstanding changeup and impressive curveball earn him Cole Hamels comparisons.
If the Orioles are willing to let Wirsch rack up some innings as a starter this year, he should be ticketed for Delmarva’s rotation. If they want to ease him back into the rotation he should come out of the pen early in the year and then move to the rotation.