Orioles lefty reliever Donnie Hart didn’t know the answer when a reporter asked him today how many times he’s been on the Orioles roster this year. Yesterday he was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk for the seventh time.
And even though he has been on the O’s roster that many times, the length of the stay has often been very short.
Here is the rundown, with the first day each time being the day he was recalled and the second being the day he was sent back to the minors:
May 30-June 1
But Hart didn’t know it has been seven times he’s been recalled.
“No clue. I don’t keep track of that. Just try to get here as fast as possible,” he said. That can mean late night or very early morning flights. That can mean starting his day in a Triple-A clubhouse and ending it in a major league clubhouse.
“It has its challenges,” he said. “Not every time, in a perfect world, can they call you the night before and tell you. So there have been times when I’ve been in a clubhouse somewhere and got on a plane and got here. It can be tough, but it’s the big leagues. If you can’t get ready to be here, you can’t ready for anywhere.”
Hart has gone 1-0 with a 2.10 ERA and six saves at Norfolk, with 30 strikeouts and eight walks over 37 innings. With the Orioles, his innings count totals just 7 1/3 and he is 0-0 with a 3.68 ERA with two walks and three strikeouts.
Hart knows the drill. Big league team needs a fresh arm and some young pitcher with options is sent out and another young pitcher with options is called in.
“When you get here you know you’re trying to cover innings,” he said. “Usually, when you get here they need a fresh arm. You just want to get three outs as quick as possible, so if they need me the next day, I’m available. Or if they need me for more that day, I can do it. You can’t exactly pitch like you always want to pitch, in terms of that. Just trying to get outs. You try to take advantage of it and make the most of it. But sometimes you just got off an airplane an hour before that. You try to get here and get as many outs as you can. It presents its challenges for sure. You try to make the most of it.”
Sometimes that means a pitcher who just had a strong game one day is optioned out the next. It just happened to right-hander Ryan Meisinger. He threw three scoreless innings in Game 2 on Monday versus New York and was optioned out yesterday.
“That’s part of it,” Hart said. “Everyone has done it. Brad (Brach) did it, Zach (Britton) has done it, Darren (O’Day). Everyone has done it. It’s part of it. If you want to help this team win, you do what they ask of you. You don’t like going in there and having a meeting with him (manager Buck Showalter). But you go down there and you keep pitching. That is all you can do. I think Buck has enough faith in me that I can see what is going on.”