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.