Putting troubled past behind him, Pomeranz set to debut for Orioles

Pitcher Stu Pomeranz seemed pretty low-key today when talking about his fast rise this season - from a pitcher with Double-A Bowie that just got to Triple-A about 10 days ago and now is with the Orioles and has been activated today.

When he gets into his first Orioles game, he will make his major league debut at 27.

He had some personal issues and some injuries in recent years and admitted this afternoon there were plenty of times when he figured he would never make it onto a major league roster.

"Yeah, absolutely. I had been out of baseball. Played independent ball. Injuries. But it's here and I'm thrilled," the right-hander said.

Pomeranz also admits he had a problem with alcohol and that problem, he said, is now in his past.

"Yeah, it's gone. I've been sober 15 months. I don't drink or do anything. I'm all about baseball right now," Pomeranz said.

Signed by the Orioles on Feb. 2 after impressing some of the front office and manager Buck Showalter during a tryout in January at Camden Yards, Pomeranz has been outstanding this season for both Bowie and Norfolk.

Between the two teams, he has pitched 19 innings with seven hits allowed and no earned runs. He has walked just two batters and struck out 32 while opposing hitters went just 7-for-64 against him.

"I don't know what the key is," he said of his great start to this year. "I've just been going right after hitters and trying to get outs. That is all I'm focusing on. We worked on my breaking ball to both sides of the plate in between outings at Bowie. So far, it's working.

"I didn't expect this, this soon. But I am here now and want to take advantage of it. No, I had no idea (this could happen so soon). I was just going to play wherever they sent me and do the best I could. That is all that's in my hands. It happened quick. I'm really excited.

"I've been working harder than ever. I feel a lot of support from this organization and these guys around here. It's been working out well. I've just been trying to do everything I can to make an impression," he said.

Pomeranz said he had a phone conversation about his callup with his younger brother Drew, who will be pitching tonight for the Colorado Rockies.

"I called him. He was on a flight to San Diego and is starting tonight. He sounded pretty happy, it was nice to hear," Pomeranz said.

Pomeranz will wear uniform No. 55 for the Orioles.

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