Baltimore Orioles: Review of Mike Wright and Tyler Wilson


Mar 28, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Tyler Wilson (63) throws a pitch during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

With the Baltimore Orioles now calling up their current top pitching prospects Mike Wright and Tyler Wilson, perhaps you are a bit like me and get these two players confused. Unless you are an O’s fan who lives near and attends one of the affiliates and has seen both of these players pitch, all we have personally experienced of them are a few televised innings in spring training. Add to this that both of them have last names beginning with a “W” … it can sort of run together in the mind.

But we are apparently going to see both of these players pitching some innings in the coming week or two. Bud Norris has been put on the disabled list – a move that I certainly applaud. He was having enough troubles in 2015 before getting sick and losing weight, etc. There is nothing good about the entire situation. The wisest move right now is to let him get his health back and essentially make a new start on the season with some rehab games in the minors.

If all goes well for Norris, perhaps he can be a contributing factor in the second half of the year. At 16-19, the Orioles can’t just be throwing him out there because they are paying him a lot of money. They need to win, and there are other options, at least for now, that give them better chances to get back to the top of the AL East.

Mike Wright – 3rd round choice in 2011from East Carolina

Any way you look at it, Sunday’s 7.1 innings of shutout baseball was an impressive start for Wright. Obviously he can’t do that every time out, and there were a few “near misses” on Sunday that could have broken through with a run or two for the Angels. But the guy was good … very, very good.

A year ago at this time Mike Wright was not pitching well at all for the Norfolk Tides. In a series of seven games from May 11 through June 17, he gave up 4,7,5,5,7,4,4 earned runs. It was an ERA over that stretch of 11.44.

But, as he had done as well at AA, Wright turned this around for the end of the season. In his final seven games (and 47.1 innings), his ERA was 0.95. He only allowed 35 hits, while striking out 37.

For the first six games of this 2015 season at Norfolk, though he gave up a few more runs than the end of 2014, his ratio of relatively few hits and high strikeouts was much the same.

Combining these stats of the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015 – Wright’s most recent series of 13 starts from 7/25/14 through 5/8/15 – he has thrown 78 innings and only given up 60 hits while striking out 67. And there were only 15 walks in those 78 innings. Altogether, it comes out to an ERA of 1.62 and WHIP of 0.962!

The entire picture would seem to present a fellow who struggled with inconsistency over a three-year period, but who has learned and figured out a successful pitching plan to have success. Why not put him out there and prove that he can’t do it successfully in the big leagues?  He has control, plus pitches, and upper 90s velocity. It is a winning combination.

Tyler Wilson – 10th round choice in 2011 from Virginia

Wilson is currently 2-4 with a 3.43 ERA for the Tides. Batters are hitting .273 off him, while he has a WHIP of 1.22.  So this is not bad, but neither is it “lights out” stats.

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As the O’s minor league pitcher of the year last season, he was called up from AA Bowie at the beginning of July after having a 10-5, 3.72 start. At Norfolk, he was 4-3 with a slightly lower 3.60 ERA, so that is very consistent overall.

All 95 of his minor league games have been as a starting pitcher, but he will have to work out of the bullpen for the Orioles. That is, unless Chris Tillman’s back spasm situation does not abate. The plan now is for Tillman to pitch in Thursday’s day game.

Remember all of the talk in the offseason and spring training about what the Orioles were going to do with six starters for five rotation positions? And it was said as well that someone was likely to be injured along the way. And sure enough, the O’s are without Kevin Gausman and now Bud Norris … with Tillman holding his aching back.

But it is good to see what these young pitchers can do. And Orioles fans everywhere will be delighted if they can do what Wright did on Sunday!

Next: Mike Wright Writes the Right Script

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