Right-hander Pat Egan began today as a minor league pitcher in the O's organization. But after being taken in the Rule 5 draft, he is now on the Milwaukee Brewers' major league roster.
"I'm still trying to piece it all together," Egan said by phone moments ago. "It's kind of surreal right now. I've been getting a lot of calls and texts and I'm just trying to get a grip on it right now. I knew it was a possibility, but there is a whole different feeling when you are taken. It is starting to sink in that I have the chance to make a major league roster.It's a great opportunity and I am real excited."
Egan pitched at Bowie and Norfolk this year, going a combined 7-2, 3.44 in 49 games. He pitches with velocity in the low 90s, but the sink on his pitches may be one big reason why the Brewers nabbed him. He had a 2.64 ratio of grounders to fly balls this year.
"(Milwaukee's) assistant GM called and said a quick hello. He told me about the process and what will happen in spring training and their strength and conditioning program and so forth," Egan said.
Egan admits his emotions are a bit of blur today. He could be gone from the O's organization for good if things work out the way he hopes with Milwaukee.
"I would have loved to have been protected by the O's," he said. "They gave me my first opportunity, but I didn't get protected, so maybe this will work out the best for me."
Egan was a starting pitcher for his first two seasons in the O's organization, but has pitched mostly in the bullpen the past two years.
"Moving from the starting rotation to the pen really suited me. Plus, I tried to work hard with each pitching coach I had and pick their brain and just be consistent and keep working hard," Egan said.
Egan just finished a stint in the Arizona Fall League and threw well there, going 0-1, 2.13 in 10 games with Scottsdale.
Not to bury the lead, but maybe this is the best part of his story. The Orioles, and scout Keith Connolly, drafted Egan in the 36th round out of Quinnipiac University in 2006. The tall right-hander had to overcome long odds to even get good enough to be taken in this draft today. There were 1,074 players selected ahead of him in that draft four years ago.
"I try to use everything I learn as motivation," Egan said. "Being taken in the 36th round, sometimes you feel like you are just filler for an organization. I always felt like I had something to prove and it motivated me. I tried to use it that way each year."
The odds are probably good that Egan will be offered back to the Orioles at some point next year. Maybe he won't; he could be that rare Rule 5 draft pick that sticks.
Either way, you have to feel real good for him right now, coming from Round 36 to today. Yes, today is a good day at the Egan house.