Saturday, October 1, 2022

Orioles promote longtime minor league pitcher Drake

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Ravens and Orioles beat reporter for WNST BaltimorePositive.com and is a PFWA member. His mind is consumed with useless sports knowledge, pro wrestler promos, and movie quotes, but he struggles to remember where he put his phone. Luke's favorite sports memories include being one of the thousands of kids who waited to get Cal Ripken's autograph after Orioles games in the summer of 1995, attending the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade with his father in the pouring rain, and watching the Terps advance to the Final Four at the Carrier Dome in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @BaltimoreLuke or email him at Luke@wnst.net.

One of the good stories in the Orioles’ minor-league system will appear to have its culmination with right-handed pitcher Oliver Drake being summoned to Miami.

Selected in the 43rd round out of the Naval Academy in the 2008 draft, the 28-year-old Drake was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to give Baltimore another option in the bullpen for Saturday’s game against the Marlins. The Orioles optioned right-hander Tyler Wilson back to Norfolk after he appeared in two of the last three games.

The 6-foot-4 Drake has posted a miniscule 0.96 ERA in 18 2/3 innings for the Tides this season. Using an impressive split-fingered fastball, Drake has struck out 30 batters and walked just four after he was added to the 40-man roster in the offseason.

Once thought to be a diamond in the rough after the Orioles drafted him when most teams assumed the pitcher would remain at Navy, injuries derailed his once promising career as a starter, but Drake has found a niche out of the bullpen. He probably won’t give the Orioles as much length as they’d like as a bullpen addition in the short term, but Drake would become the fifth player to make his major league debut for Baltimore this season, joining pitchers Wilson, Jason Garcia and Mike Wright and infielder Rey Navarro. Knuckleball pitcher Eddie Gamboa was also recalled earlier this season, but he did not appear in a game before being returned to Norfolk.

According to CBSSports.com, the Orioles are also expected to sign Cuban left-handed pitcher Ariel Miranda, a 25-year-old defector.

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