The Orioles selected the contracts of young right-handed pitchers Tyler Wilson and Mike Wright, adding each to the 40-man roster on Thursday.
Wanting to protect them from next month’s Rule 5 draft, Wilson and Wright find themselves inching closer to receiving opportunities at the major league level. The 25-year-old Wilson was named the organization’s 2014 pitcher of the year after going a combined 14-8 with a 3.67 ERA in 166 2/3 innings between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk.
Wilson led all Orioles minor leaguers in wins (14) and strikeouts (157) while ranking seventh in ERA. He was selected by Baltimore in the 10th round of the 2011 draft out of the University of Virginia.
The 24-year-old Wright went 5-11 with a 4.61 ERA in 26 starts for Norfolk in 2014, but he finished strong by allowing only one earned run in his final four starts covering 29 2/3 innings. A third-round pick from East Carolina, Wright has often been mentioned by manager Buck Showalter over the last couple years as a minor-league pitcher to watch.
While Wilson and Wright were expected to be added to the 40-man roster, the Orioles’ decision not to select the contract of right-handed pitcher Parker Bridwell was surprising considering how much talent the 23-year-old possesses. Bridwell’s 4.45 ERA in 26 starts at Single-A Frederick this year wasn’t overwhelming, but his mid-90s fastball and overall makeup make him a good candidate to potentially settle into a late-inning relief role at the major league level.
Bridwell, a ninth-round pick in 2010, has averaged 9.0 strikeouts per nine innings pitched in each of the last two seasons.
With the additions of Wilson and Wright, the Orioles now have 37 players on their 40-man roster.
On Wednesday, the Orioles announced the minor-league signings of infielder Michael Almanzar, left-handed pitcher Frank Gailey, infielder-outfielder Derrik Gibson,right-handed pitcher Tim Gustafson, lefty Chris Jones, right-hander Kenn Kasparek, shortstop Ozzie Martinez, right-hander Mikey O’Brien, and southpaw Ronan Pacheco. Almanzar was a Rule 5 selection last year who was returned to the Boston Red Sox before he was eventually dealt back to the Orioles as part of the Kelly Johnson trade.