Orioles starter Yovani Gallardo was placed on the disabled list with shoulder and bicep tendinitis over the weekend. It’s the first time in Gallardo’s 10-year career that he’ll miss time due to an arm related injury. The guy has been an absolute work horse, making 30 or more starts in each of the previous seven seasons.

So this injury comes as some surprise to the Orioles.


Shouldn’t it, given his history as a starter proven who’s proven healthy?

Well, maybe it does to the baseball world, but not to the Orioles.

Gallardo was supposed to be the Orioles big free agent addition over the winter. And whatever, you think about that statement, they had planned to invest a three-year, $35 million offer in him. That is, until his physical revealed a shoulder issue that worried Orioles doctors. Instead, the two sides agreed to a two year, $22 million deal with a club option for 2018 and $2 million buyout.

And that’s when the national media began absolutely torching the Orioles for changing Gallardo’s deal. Jon Heyman referred to the negotiations as “medical roulette” and called it a “mistake.” Keith Law joked on Twitter that he too failed an Orioles physical.

O’s doctors and owner Peter Angelos became the punching bag of the baseball world. Respected voices in the game criticized the owner for not wanting to commit big money to outside free agents and using the medicals as an excuse to chop down the deal.

Just like they did with Grant Balfour, right?

Prior to the 2014 season, the O’s had a similar situation occur with free agent closer Grant Balfour. They saw something they didn’t like in the physical, attempted to renegotiate at a lower value and move on, but Balfour and the national media fought it. He even got an outside doctor to to publicly disagree with what the Orioles found in their physical.

Then he signed with the Rays, lost two miles per hour on his pitches and saw his ERA climb from 2.59 to 4.91 in 2014 and 6.23 in 2015. Guess the O’s were right there too huh?

Kind of like they were with Jair Jurrjens and Jeromy Burnitz and yeah, even Aaron Sele, who was decent in Seattle, but ultimately experienced the shoulder problems the Orioles feared when they walked away from that deal.

Baseball is a game where each team is constantly trying to find the next edge over their opponents. What can a franchise do differently that separates themselves from the other 29 teams and gives them an advantage? The Orioles have clearly found that in their medical staff when it comes to committing or not committing big money in free agency.

Somehow though, they aren’t given credit for their success in this aspect of the game. Instead they get criticized for being better at it than the rest of the teams in baseball.

Featured Image Credit: Keith Allison