Baltimore Orioles: A Look at Pitching Prospect Mike Wright


Mar 6, 2015; Dunedin, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles pitcher Mike Wright (59) throws a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays in the second inning of the spring training baseball game at Florida Auto Exchange Park. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday night was a good evening to miss watching the Baltimore Orioles, as the Birds dropped an ugly game to the Toronto Blue Jays, 10-2.

I really did miss looking at it. The second Tuesday of the month is always a full-evening board meeting, and all I can do is sneak a look here and there at summaries on the phone.

Reading about it later confirmed what was obvious from my scant peaks at the game periodically. I did not need to read anything other than the box score to see that defensive lapses killed the Orioles.

As good as the Orioles were in all components of the game on Monday night, they had plenty of stink to go around on Tuesday evening. Fortunately it only counts as one loss, and the Birds have a chance to win the series tonight.

Today is the 13th of the month, but for the Baltimore Orioles all the bad luck seemed to happen a day early. Ryan Flaherty joins the substantial squad on the DL.  Top prospect Hunter Harvey is reported to have elbow issues of concern. And Rule 5 draftee Jason Garcia is suspected of something not being fully correct, as his velocity is down.

The latter situation could prove fortuitous for the Birds. It has appeared for some time now that keeping Garcia on the roster for the full season was not going to be easy to do. The word is that Mike Wright will be coming to take his spot on the roster and provide bullpen help.

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So let’s take a few moments of review on Wright.

This will be a major league debut for the 6-6, 25-year-old right-hander from the Carolinas. He was the 2011 third-round selection (#94 overall) of the Orioles out of East Carolina University.

Wright would appear to be that player who has grown and gained experience along the way and is really putting it together now. He was only 5-11 at AAA Norfolk last year, but it was his end of the season that had everyone excited. Over his final seven starts, he went 4-2 with a 0.95 ERA in 47.1 innings. Wright allowed 35 hits and held opposing batters to a .202 average over that span. He did not give up a run in his final 24.1 innings of the season, including taking a no-hitter into the ninth inning on August 21 at Durham.

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The beginning of Wright’s 2015 season at Norfolk is not quite that good, but it is not bad at all. In six games he is 3-0 with a 2.64 ERA, giving up 25 hits in 30.1 innings. His WHIP is a very fine 1.11.

Like many top prospects, he has been a starter over his minor league career. In 91 games, he has been the starter in all but four of them. So relieving will be a different experience for Wright in the big leagues.

Also of interest over the past couple of seasons at AAA … his numbers against left-handers are actually a bit better than that of right-handed batters. As Buck says, it is important for a pitcher “to be able to defend himself” against the opposite dominance.

Though I understand the intrigue about Garcia’s big arm – a skill that really can’t be taught – it is just not working out. The Baltimore Orioles are going to be a better pitching staff and team right now with Mike Wright.

Next: Right now Ubaldo is the staff ace!