BY L.E. MILLER, @LEMillerBMore
Well Parker Bridwell is sitting at a 2.92 ERA after 13 games and...I'm gonna talk about Nicky Delmonico.
The former Orioles 6th round pick and #4 Baseball America team prospect has had quite the big league debut with the White Sox – after previously quitting baseball due to an Adderall addiction he was trying to get in front of. Through 22 games he has slashed .307/.429/.573 with 6 homeruns while playing OF, 1B and DHing.
The Orioles traded Delmonico – then referred to as Nick – for ace reliever Francisco Rodriguez back in 2013 – when the cracks were starting to show in Jim Johnson's game. This trade was a little lost in the fallout of trading Jake Arrieta that year.
The trade itself wasn't terrible. Was it great? Maybe not, but it was an understandable one. K-Rod had a stellar 1.09 ERA with the Brewers that year, yet Showalter never found a role for K-Rod; bouncing him around from the 6th, 7th, and 8th inning. He struggled. I attribute this more to “I like our guys” than anything else. You pick up one of the best relievers in the last 10 years and you at least pencil him in as the set-up man. But the specifics of how he did or why are old news.
K-Rod was one of the best relievers in baseball and the Orioles picked him up for a 20-year-old corner infielder hitting .243/.350/.469 in A+ ball. He had flashed some power – 13 homers in 61 games ain't too shabby. However the Orioles were looking at several more years of a Chris Davis that was contending for a MVP win and still had a somewhat older, but more accomplished, Christian Walker in the system. We can live with that decision.
The Chicago Tribune has a really great write up of how Delmonico ended up in the White Sox system. In 2014 he decided to quit Adderall which he had been previously granted an exemption to use. When he felt he couldn't not take it mid-season he got caught. That sounds familiar.
At one point after being suspended he decided to quit baseball and requested release from the Brewers. But according to the Tribune the White Sox called him a day after he was granted that release and talked him out of it. After rehab in winter 2015 he was ready for baseball again.
And here he is now.
I suggest checking out the Tribune's piece which can be found here.