After four seasons in the Orioles' organization, mostly as a starting pitcher, lefty Cole McCurry is posting some eye-popping stats right now in his first season at Double-A, pitching out of the Bowie bullpen.
The 25-year-old McCurry, a 43rd-round draft pick in 2007, made 102 appearances in his first four seasons with 76 coming as a starter.
In 2009, he went 6-9 with a 2.71 ERA starting for Single-A Delmarva. Last year he was 5-6 with a 4.23 ERA in 30 games, 12 starts for Single-A Frederick.
Now he is putting up better stats than he ever has with a 3-0 record and 0.40 ERA in nine games for Bowie. In 22 2/3 innings, he has allowed just 10 hits and one run with six walks and 28 strikeouts. His opponent average against is .135. Since giving up that run in his first outing, he has now pitched 19 2/3 scoreless innings for the Baysox.
"He's been very good," Bowie manager Gary Kendall said of McCurry. "He's pitched in a long relief role and he's been effective against righties and lefties. He's got four pitches and has been able to throw all of them for strikes. He has provided us with a lot of stability in the bullpen.
"He'll touch average (with his fastball). The other day he was 88-92, but he generally pitches 88, 89. With that breaking ball, the fastball sort of plays up a little bit. And he's got a feel for his changeup," Kendall said.
While right-handed batters have hit .167 off McCurry, he has held lefty batters to two hits in 26 at-bats for an average of .077 and has fanned 15 of those 26 batters.
Eastern League batters are hitless against him, 0-for-15, when hitting with runners in scoring position with nine strikeouts. He has allowed just one hit in 24 at-bats with runners on base.
"He's a guy we feel comfortable with and not just in a left-on-left matchup. He's been able to get righties out as well," Kendall added.
McCurry seems to be one of those guys that doesn't throw hard enough or hasn't, until now, put up stats good enough to get much mention from anyone. But he has, slowly but surely, progressed through the farm system and the Orioles' brass hasn't lost sight of that fact.
No one is saying he'll be in Baltimore soon or even this year, but he should get credit for this great start and when you post stats like that, you should be getting someone's attention.