BALTIMORE – When the Orioles optioned Jake Arrieta to Norfolk on Apr. 22, he vowed he’d be back soon. The Orioles recalled him on Saturday to help shore up their bullpen, and as a possible starter.
Arrieta was 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA in three starts for the Tides. He was scheduled to pitch today, and was scratched from a start last Sunday because of shoulder stiffness.
In four starts with the Orioles, Arrieta was 1-1 with a 6.63 ERA.
Arrieta says that he learned a lot from pitching in Norfolk. “What I really did is I started to take the emotions out of it. For me, when I was getting in high-stress situations where I needed to make quality pitches to get out of big innings, I allowed anger or over-aggression, and those sort of emotions come with a pitcher and I basically tried to do more than I needed to get outs,” Arrieta said. “I went down there and really relaxed. I took the emotions completely out of it where there were guys on base or nobody on base. That translated to pretty solid results and I was throwing a lot more strikes that way as well.”
Arrieta threw in the bullpen on both Wednesday and said everything went well.
“He’s fine.This is the guy that everybody felt like fit the description we had,” manager Buck Showalter said.
The bullpen has been used liberally by the Orioles. In their last six games, the starter has gone five innings or less five times.
“He provides the most length and you always want to have some length there,” Showalter said.
“I assume I’ll be filling a need in the bullpen,” Arrieta said. “I just want to be part of helping the team win whether it is as a starter or in the bullpen. Really it doesn’t matter to me right now at this point.”
Arrieta has won just two major league games in the last 12 months, but the Orioles continue to have high hopes for him. He pitched in their home opener for the last three years, and other teams regularly ask about him.