As expected, Tim Berry’s stay in the majors leagues was short this time. He was optioned back to Double-A Bowie this afternoon. Kevin Gausman took his roster spot and will start tonight.
Berry knew his time could be short in the O’s clubhouse, but before he was officially optioned, he told reporters that this was a special experience for him.
“It’s kind of indescribable,” the 23-year-old Berry said. “We were in Portland (Maine) and Gary (Kendall) called me and said I was going to the big leagues. There was kind of this blanket of numbness first. Just a weird feeling I couldn’t describe. After the initial realization, it was pretty exciting.”
Berry’s career has been trending up for a while now. It began with the Orioles taking a shot on him in round 50 in 2009 depite knowing he was about to have Tommy John surgery. Berry said today that several teams were interested in him during his senior year of high school. But they all bailed after he got hurt - all but the Orioles and scout Mark Ralston, who signed him.
He was rated as the club’s No. 6 prospect this winter by Baseball America and yesterday, at least for one day this time, he wore a big league uniform and was in the major leagues.
“It was all worth it just for yesterday’s experience. Really it was unbelievable. Taking it all in and having fun,” Berry said.
As last night’s game went to extra innings, Berry wondered if his name would be called to pitch at some point.
“I was trying to stay ready at all times,” he said. “I was just enjoying the game from the ‘pen and it was a really cool experience.”
After he was added to the 40-man roster in November, Berry went to major league spring training in February and got to know some of the Orioles. That came in handy when he returned and saw familiar faces yesterday.
“It was a huge help being in spring,” he said. “People greeted me by name when I walked in. They said, ‘Anything you need just ask. Any questions, feel free.’ That was cool.”
Now it’s back to the Eastern League for the lefty with a record of 3-3 with a 4.12 ERA for Bowie. He is also sporting a career-best 3.31 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 11 starts for the Baysox.
“I feel like it’s been a been a good year for me,” he said. “A couple games, one in particular got away from me. Other than that, I feel like I kept the team in the game and we had a chance to win most games.
“As far as my stuff goes, things are getting better, especially the breaking ball, which I felt before the season was kind of my next step and that is coming along.”
Meanwhile, right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, who went on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 31, with a strained right oblique yesterday, said he would play catch today and throw a bullpen session either tomorrow or Monday.
He said he was on board with the decision to go on the DL.
“Think that’s the best thing we could have done,” Gonzalez said. “Gives me more time to recover and be 100 percent for the next time I go out there. We don’t want to rush. Obliques, you’ve got to take care of it and make sure it’s 100 percent.”
Gonzalez, who is 3-4 with a 4.17 ERA, will likely make a rehab start in the minors at Single-A Frederick or Double-A Bowie sometime between next Tuesday and Thursday depending how his bullpen session goes.