Feats of Clay Rapada

When the Orioles sent Clay Rapada to their minor league camp toward the end of spring training, they never gave him a timetable for a return to the majors.

It turned out to be April 18.

“They kind of told me to keep doing what I was doing and when the time came, they said to be ready,” he said earlier today after reporting to Camden Yards. “I felt like I did what I needed to do in spring training to impress Buck (Showalter). I told him I was going to come in and get lefties out, and that’s what I did.”

Rapada impressed Showalter early in camp by also retiring right-handed hitters, which hasn’t been as easy for the left-hander during his career, but he began to struggle and eventually was cut.

“I started off really well and I felt like I pressed the issue,” he said. ” When I talked to (Mark) Connor about it, it was kind of agreed that in certain situations I tried to do too much instead of just sticking to my game, like I started out in camp.”

Rapada won’t be used strictly as a left-handed specialist, but that’ll be his primary responsibility.

“I feel like I’m ready for any lefty,” he said. “I’ve been in the American League for parts of three years and I’ve faced a lot of those lefties. I’m confident I can get those guys out.

“I’m going to have the role of getting lefties out, and if they leave me out there for righties, I’ll do my best there, too.”

Rapada said he didn’t pay much attention to the Orioles once he joined Triple-A Norfolk.

“I tried to stay focused down there and work on my outings down there,” he said. “I can’t control anything up here.”

Being cut didn’t come as a huge shock to Rapada.

“I saw how the rotation and bullpen kind of played out and I felt like the extra along man was going to be needed instead of me,” he said.

Rapada hasn’t pitched since April 12, and he made only two appearances before the Orioles purchased his contract and placed reliever Chris Jakubauskas on the disabled list.

“When they told me to throw, I just threw,” he said. “I felt like they gave me a heads up before we broke to Norfolk that I was going to be a late-inning guy, and some of the games just never really came into situations where they wanted me to pitch.”

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