The newest Orioles pitcher checked into the clubhouse today. Right-hander Willie Eyre is back in the big leagues for the first time since he pitched in 17 games for Texas in 2009.
"It's been a long way to get back up," Eyre said. "I've thrown the ball well over the last year and a half or so. It's exciting."
The 33-year-old Eyre recently opted out of his contract and left the Oakland organization where he pitched this year at Triple-A Sacramento for the River Cats. He was signed Aug. 3 by the Orioles and just that quickly he is in Baltimore after three outings and 3 1/3 scoreless innings allowing just one hit for Norfolk.
"When I opted out of my contract, I didn't have a job lined up. I just knew I wasn't going to fit over there," he said. "Oakland is a good organization, but it wasn't going to work out for me over there.
"I just signed a week ago, but I've been throwing the ball well so I feel I should be at this level. I'm real excited to be here."
With Sacramento this year, Eyre went 4-5 with a 3.48 ERA and nine saves in 11 chances.
"Yeah, the beginning of the year I started out as a middle and long guy and, that bullpen over there, we kind of got used everywhere. The last five or six weeks or so, I was a back end guy," he said.
In 62 innings there, he gave up 63 hits with 28 walks, 45 strikeouts and a batting average against of .269. He was much better against left-handed hitters (.198 average) than right-handed batters (.328 average).
Buck Showalter said he is a pitcher the Orioles tried to sign in the offseason, didn't then, but he's here now. Eyre said there is no secret as to what he needs to do to be successful.
"Same as in the past. Just (throw) strikes and location of the fastball. That goes a long way," he said.