Wynn Pelzer was acquired from the Padres at the 2010 trade deadline in return for Miguel Tejada. At the time of the trade, the Padres had recently moved Pelzer out of the rotation, where he made 18 starts, to the bullpen where he made 4 appearances. The Orioles decided to keep him in the bullpen when he joined the Baysox, and saw mixed results.
At the time of the trade, most reports had Pelzer’s velocity in the 92-95 mph range but he generally sat in the low 90’s once he reached Bowie. I don’t think Pelzer’s velocity actually lost a few ticks, but I believe his fastball velocity was largely exaggerated during the 2010 off-season. Baseball America had him touching 97 mph.
Pelzer features a filthy, but inconsistent, slider that is an absolute wipe-out pitch when it’s on. He had a below-average changeup which he used during his time as a starter, but now that’s he’s a reliever it’s rarely used. His command is shaky and he can really struggle to find the plate at times.
At his best, Pelzer looks like a future closer but more often looks like a future middle reliever. If he can return to the guy he was during his 2009 season with Lake Elsinore (Padres A+), he’ll solidify himself as at least a future set-up man if not a closer.
With his struggles at both Bowie and the AFL it’s likely Pelzer returns to Double-A for a do-over. A quick promotion to Norfolk isn’t out of the question if he pitches well out of the gates.