SARASOTA, Fla. – Very quietly this spring, Josh Stinson has been solid. Stinson has thrown seven innings without an earned run, giving up four hits.
Stinson looks as if he has solidified a spot in the Orioles bullpen.
“I’m not really thinking too much about that,” Stinson said. ‘I’m just trying to make my pitches and show them the best. Make the decision hard on them and let them make the decision.”
Stinson was acquired just after Opening Day, and had a 3.18 ERA in 11 games. He got a start in April, came back for two games in August, but his best work came in September.
His philosophy is: “Let them hit it. Don’t make it my mistake that causes guys to get on,” Stinson said.
It helped Stinson that he’s familiar with the team.
“It makes it a lot easier coming in. You’re not meeting all new faces. Sometimes when you come to a new team, it’s a little shock at first,” Stinson said.
Manager Buck Showalter has been impressed with what he has seen from Stinson this spring.
“He’s picked up where he left off,” Showalter said. “He’s found a comfort zone down in the bullpen.”
Showalter isn’t guaranteeing a spot on the team for Stinson, who turned 26 earlier this month, though he is out of options.
“He knows he’s presenting himself for our club if not for somebody else. He’s going to be in the big leagues with somebody more than likely when this camp is over,” Showalter said.
In just a short time with the team, Stinson is already on his third pitching coach. Dave Wallace is easy to work with, Stinson said.
“Wally’s awesome,” Stinson said. “He isn’t going to try and reinvent the wheel. He’ll study you and throw you a tip. He’ll say: ‘What do you think about this?’ And, he’s not saying it that you have to do it. He’s just giving you advice and seeing what you think about it. Together you trip and get better.”
Wallace and new bullpen coach Dom Chiti have been a big help.
“They don’t make feel like you have to do something. They suggest something. You tell them how it feels. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, they’re not going to be upset about it,” Stinson said. “They’re going to stand back and study you and tell you if it works. It’s been good.”