Right-handed pitcher Zach Clark is taking his knuckleball to the Single-A Frederick Keys, and he’ll start Saturday night at Harry Grove Stadium.
This will be the fifth team in the O’s organization that Clark will have pitched for this year following time at Triple-A Norfolk, a relief appearance May 1 with the Orioles and stints with Double-A Bowie and the Gulf Coast League Orioles.
Clark joined Bowie in early May to begin converting to throwing a knuckleball. He went 1-4 with an 8.63 ERA in six games before the O’s sent him to Florida for more work on that pitch.
They used him in four GCL games so he could throw a higher percentage of knucklers in the less-pressured environment at a lower level. In his first two GCL outings, he gave up 11 earned runs in 6 2/3 but in his last two, he gave up just two earned runs and six hits over 10 2/3. Now Frederick is his next stop.
Right-hander Devin Jones, the Orioles’ ninth-round pick in the 2011 draft out of Mississippi State, was removed from his start with Bowie last night after four innings due to shoulder stiffness.
Jones, who is 3-4 with a 5.95 ERA in 16 Baysox starts, will be re-evaluated today.
Frederick’s Zach Davies had another good outing last night for the Keys, giving up just three hits and one run over six innings against Wilmington.
A 20-year-old right-hander drafted in round 26 out of an Arizona high school in 2011, Davies has an excellent and advanced changeup. Over his last seven starts, he has pitched to an ERA of 2.57 with 11 walks and 38 strikeouts over 42 innings.
The pro debut for this year’s top draft pick, right-handed pitcher Hunter Harvey, is still set for a week from today, July 19, when he makes a start in the Gulf Coast League. On the 18th, the O’s third-round pick this year, lefty Stephen Tarpley, will make his pro debut, also in the GCL.
Right-hander Branden Kline, the Orioles’ second-round pick last year out of the University of Virginia, continues to rehab in Florida. He underwent right ankle/fibula surgery May 17. He was 1-2 with an ERA of 5.86 in seven starts for Single-A Delmarva. Kline has not yet progressed to a throwing program, but the O’s remain hopeful he can still pitch in some games later this summer.