For a pitcher that once was trying to make it to the majors while starting out in independent league baseball, making an Opening Day roster was special. And there was O's bullpen right-hander Logan Gillaspie, 25, running down the orange carpet with the rest of the Orioles on Friday afternoon.
He made his MLB debut last May 17 with two scoreless innings against the Yankees, and now has an ERA of 3.26 in 19 1/3 big league innings with the Orioles over the last two seasons.
Gillaspie’s pro career began in 2017 in independent league baseball, where he actually spent time as both a pitcher and position player.
His record from the 2017 season shows 22 games on the mound for three different teams, plus a few games at first base and catcher, and even one at shortstop. He went 4-for-23 as a hitter.
The Milwaukee Brewers signed him in 2018 but released him in 2019. The Orioles signed him on June 9, 2021, and he made his big league debut on the mound at Camden Yards last May. And he was a surprise addition to the bullpen on Opening Day this year.
Gillaspie said joining the O’s organization has been the boost his career needed, and he is thankful for what the organization has meant to him and done for him.
“It means everything. They care about you. Ever since I signed here in 2021 they were always checking up on me, seeing how I was doing, how I was feeling. That is a big deal,” he said.
Fenway Park and Camden Yards are a long way from those independent league parks.
“I sometimes lay in bed thinking about different situations I could be in. But now I have already done it in terms of being in the big leagues. Opening Day in Boston was also special – my first time breaking north with this squad," he said.
Stowers tries to stay sharp in bench role: O’s outfielder Kyle Stowers is in some uncharted territory early on this season as it relates to most of his pro career. Playing mostly off the bench, he's made just one start and is 0-for-4 thus far.
He made the Opening Day roster and now is trying to learn how to get hits when he gets his chances.
He said his swing, he feels, is in good shape.
“I feel good, I feel confident,” he said. “I believe in my ability to produce, so right now I’m just trying to stay ready for whatever opportunity that comes.”
He said last year he started to learn how to stay ready even when not playing a lot.
“You have to figure out how to stay ready. Figuring out how to stay cool, calm and collected and not try to do too much when you do get your shot. You need to stay confident when the chances come,” he said.
Stowers pinch-hit last night in the ninth inning and drew a walk in the Yankees' 4-1 win over the Orioles that leaves the Birds at 4-4 heading into today's series wrap-up game.
Norfolk puts up three touchdowns: Triple-A Norfolk tied a franchise record with 11 runs in one inning last night in a 21-2 win over Gwinnett. At 6-1, the Tides are off to their best start since becoming an O's affiliate in 2007. The Tides last scored 11 in one inning on May 13, 2004. The franchise record of 23 runs in one game was set when they were a Mets affiliate on April 13, 1982.
Seven Tides had multi-RBI games, and Norfolk had 19 hits, but no home runs. Connor Norby went 3-for-5 with three runs and four RBIs.
The O's four farm teams are a combined 12-4 (.750) thus far.
At low Single-A Delmarva, Jackson Holliday is 6-for-13 (.462) with three doubles and four RBIs.
At Double-A Bowie, infielder César Prieto is 6-for-14 (.429) with three RBIs.