Terry Doyle agrees to minor league contract and a few FanFest quotes

He was easily among the best starting pitchers on the Orioles farm last year and maybe the best of them all. And as of yesterday, 30-year-old right-hander Terry Doyle is back with the organization, agreeing to a minor league contract with the Orioles.

In 2015, in 26 games (21 starts) between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk, Doyle went 16-2 with a 2.16 ERA. Over 158 2/3 innings, he gave up 137 hits with just 22 walks and 110 strikeouts. He went 12-1 with a 1.97 ERA for Bowie. In seven Norfolk starts, Doyle was 4-1 with a 2.57 ERA. He helped both teams reach the playoffs.

Terry Doyle Bowie.pngDoyle led all O’s farmhands with 16 wins and that tied for second in all of minor league baseball. He ranked second among O’s minor leaguers in ERA and third in strikeouts. He was the O’s minor league Pitcher of the Month in June when he went 4-0 with a 1.54 ERA for Bowie.

In an interview during the International League playoffs in September, Doyle talked about his very strong 2015 season.

“With pitching and hitting in baseball, everything is about being able to repeat - either your swing or your delivery,” he said. “This year, for whatever reason, my mechanics have been a lot better and a lot more consistent than in the past.

“I’ve consistently been getting the same release point and not having to fight against myself, trying to figure out why I’m off. I’ve basically been able to command the ball and move it around in the strike zone as much and as easy as it’s been for me my whole career.”

Doyle’s teams went 17-4 in his starts. When he was with Bowie, the Baysox lost his first start for them and then won 13 in a row. Doyle’s new deal does not include a spring training invite, but for an Orioles team that struggled with its rotation last year, he adds some quality depth for next season.

FanFest quotes: Another FanFest has come and gone. Even though it was over a month earlier this year and with Christmas approaching, a crowd of more than 11,500 was there to talk baseball.

During a kids press conference with manager Buck Showalter, I learned that the O’s skipper was a left-handed second baseman in Little League who also caught some. His favorite player as a kid was Mickey Mantle. When asked by one youngster which team he liked to manage better, the Orioles or Yankees, Showalter said, “Not even close. Absolutely Baltimore.”

Over the next few days I’ll post some quotes from FanFest interviews. Here are a few for today.

Zach Britton on Darren O’Day agreeing to a new contract with the team: “It’s exciting. It’s great for our team. Not just our pitching staff, but he’s a leader in the clubhouse. A guy that we definitely lean on a lot. He’s good for our younger guys. He’s helped the guys coming up in our bullpen. Mychal Givens was a good example. He really took him under his wing and helped him a lot. He deserves the contract he got and maybe a little bit more. If you think about what some other guys have gotten as a free agent compared to what he’s done, he’s up there with some of the best relievers in the game the last four or five years.”

Chris Tillman on Kevin Gausman: “He’s an awesome kid and has come a long way. It’s been fun to watch him. He keeps us on our toes and is a lot of fun to be around. I don’t think we’ve seen his best yet. He’s going to be really good.”

Minor league outfielder Mike Yastrzemski on attending his first FanFest: “It’s awesome. Being able to interact with the guys and meeting the fans. To be a part of Baltimore for a little bit of time was great. There is a great energy in the atmosphere here.”

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