Feel good story: Former Oriole Hoey returns to majors with Twins

The last few seasons, Jim Hoey pitched in the Orioles’ minor leagues, battling back after two surgeries to try to get back to Baltimore and the major leagues.

Hoey will make that return to the majors in Baltimore, but not with Baltimore.

Traded by the Orioles to the Twins in December with Brett Jacobson in the deal for shortstop J.J. Hardy, Hoey began this year at Triple-A Rochester but was recalled to the majors today after the Twins’ win over Tampa. That means he will be with the club tomorrow for the series opener against the Orioles at Camden Yards.

Hoey last pitched in the majors in 2007 with the Orioles. You have to feel good for the guy as he overcame first Tommy John surgery and then shoulder surgery that kept him out all of the 2008 season.

After saving 33 games at three levels of the O’s minors in 2006, later that year he made the majors for the first time. But by 2008 he had shoulder problems and missed that entire season after another surgery.

Hoey didn’t pack it in. Instead he pitched well last year, going 6-0 with a 3.25 ERA between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk where he fanned 70 over 52 2/3 innings.

The 28-year-old, right-hander then had a good spring this season and impressed the Twins coaches and reports say he still can throw mid to high 90’s at times. This season with Rochester, he was 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA with eight strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings.

Hoey is expected to pitch late in games for the Twins now with Joe Nathan struggling. He may pitch the eighth inning with new closer Matt Capps working the ninth according to this story.

The Orioles drafted Hoey in Round 13 in 2003 out of Rider College.

You have to figure that, after two major surgeries, walking back into a big league clubhouse in Baltimore tomorrow will be very special for Hoey.

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