Josh Stinson got a clue before the Triple-A Norfolk Tides’ game yesterday that he might be called up to the Orioles. Tides pitching coach Mike Griffin told him to skip his planned bullpen session.
Today, Stinson joined the O’s again and he will be the long reliever out of the bullpen tonight behind starter Wei-Yin Chen.
Stinson made one start for the Orioles, on April 24 at Camden Yards against Toronto, and gave up five runs in 5 2/3 innings on four homers.
He went 4-4 with a 4.23 ERA for the Tides and pitched to an ERA of 2.57, allowing just 10 hits over 21 innings in his last three Norfolk starts.
“I made some mechanics adjustments,” Stinson said of his recent solid stretch. “I got away from throwing downhill and using my sinker. Made some adjustments three starts ago, throwing more downhill and using my sinker and changeup and it’s been working well.
“I’m very comfortable out of the bullpen. All of ‘09, I was in the bullpen and half of 2010 and 2011. Every time I’ve been up with New York and Milwaukee, I was in the bullpen.”
Stinson had a crazy few days right at the start of this season. He was claimed by Oakland off waivers from Milwaukee on March 29. Just days later on April 4, he was claimed by the Orioles off waivers from Oakland.
He’s seen a few pitchers come and go on the Norfolk-Baltimore shuttle since he was last here and now it’s his turn again.
“I was kind of told when I got claimed over here that they make a lot of moves,” said the 25-year-old right-hander. “I guess they had the most in Major League Baseball last year, so that was kind of expected. I was with Milwaukee last year and there weren’t that many moves.”
With Norfolk, Stinson allowed 94 hits in 89 1/3 innings. While lefty batters hit .319 off him, right-handed batters hit just .238.
He is certainly not rooting for Chen to have any early problems tonight, but he’s also hoping to get in a game while he’s here and show the O’s what he can do.
“It’s an opportunity. I think that every guy that comes up sees this as an opportunity to show them what you’ve got,” Stinson said.
“You don’t think about that (getting your chance) when you are pitching. If you put up good numbers, things will happen. You can’t think about the business part of it.”