Mitch Atkins was picked up by the Orioles this past off-season on a minor league deal. The 25 year-old right-hander spent most of 2011, as expected, starting in the minors (at three different levels, but mostly Triple-A), where he was mostly mediocre (4.85 ERA, 2.2 K/BB ratio). Atkins got called up for a brief stretch in July, making three starts and getting knocked around.
Stats in 10.2 IP don’t mean much, but he would have been relatively happy for his ERA to match his xFIP of 5.19. The 7 strike-outs to 3 walks (plus a hit batter) is pretty bad by itself, but then add 5 home runs on top of it and it’s not surprising Atkins had a 8.44 ERA and 8.93 FIP. Maybe he’s a replacement level pitcher going forward, though it’ll probably as a long-man in the bullpen given his relatively straight 90 mph fastball; perhaps he can put his breaking-balls to better effect facing more right-handed batters.