Former Alabama Baseball Player to Start in Orioles Opening Series
According to the Baltimore Orioles official team website, Wade LeBlanc will be the starting pitcher for Sunday's game against the Boston Red Sox.
Before signing a minor league contract with the Orioles, LeBlanc had a short stint with the Seattle Mariners. In 2019 LeBlanc went 6-7 with a 5.71 ERA and 92 strikeouts. This was quite the letdown after he posted a 9-5 record and a 3.72 earned-run average, during the 2018 season.
LeBlanc was a member of the 2006 Southeastern Conference co-champion Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team, and was taken in the second round of the 2008 MLB Draft, by the San Diego Padres.
The former Crimson Tide journeyman has had a long and adventuress career. Since being drafted in 2008, he has pitched for seven MLB teams, 10 minor-league teams, and also spent a season pitching in the Japan Pacific League.
If you take a look at the list of University of Alabama baseball players who've gone on to play in the MLB, the list isn't very long.
The most successful UA player out of the bunch, has been Alex Avilla. He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 34th round of the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft, but chose to attend Alabama where he was an All-SEC selection.
Avilla is currently a member of the Minnesota Twins, and provides them with a well experienced backstop.
LeBlanc will certainly have his hands full come Sunday night, against a talented Red Sox team. Even with the loss of Mookie Betts, the lineup is still incredibly dangerous to face.
In 2019 the Orioles were one of the worst team in all of baseball, with a horrendous record of 54-108. Without a true ace on the roster, someone needs to step up. LeBlanc could be the answer to their prayers.