Mike Wright on Hyun Soo Kim and competing for a rotation spot

Former Orioles outfielder, first baseman and all-around good guy Steve Pearce sent out a couple of tweets last night after signing his one-year, $4.75 million contract with the Rays.

While expressing excitement over his latest opportunity, he took the time to acknowledge his recent past.

“While I am looking forward to the new challenge, I will forever remember my years in Baltimore with such great teammates, ownership, front office personal, members of the media, and especially, the tremendous fans!,” Pearce wrote.

“Thank you to all of you! My family enjoyed every moment!”

The Orioles lost a versatile player and one of the more popular figures in the clubhouse. He’s going to positively rake at The Trop.

I also can speak for everyone on the beat crew when I say that he’s going to be missed.

Meanwhile, pitcher Mike Wright continues to work out with vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson in California. They’ve been joined by outfielder Hyun Soo Kim, who left Korea and flew into Los Angeles over the weekend.

“I’m still breathing heavy from working out with him right now,” Wright said last night during a phone interview on the “Hot Stove Show” on 105.7 The Fan.

“He’s a great guy. He looks like he’s going to be a fantastic teammate. He’s very upbeat. He’s always smiling. He’s the only guy I’ve seen come up here and run the hill and he was smiling the whole way up.”

The hill has caused a few players to lose their breakfast after reaching the top.

“That’ll definitely put some hair on your chest,” Wright said. “Me and pretty much every guy who’s ran it so far, we’ve been on the verge of throwing up if not throwing up already.”

The Orioles still can’t find a starter to replace Wei-Yin Chen, missing out yesterday on free agent Doug Fister. Each whiff increases Wright’s chances of making the team out of spring training.

“You can only worry about yourself,” he said. “Even if they bring a guy in, somebody they think can help, I’m trying to be the top guy for the spot. That’s all I can kind of worry about.

“I’m going in to compete for a spot 100 percent.”

wright-pitching-white-sidebar.jpgWright had three stints with the Orioles as a rookie and didn’t allow a run in his first 14 1/3 innings over two starts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last Orioles pitcher with at least 14 1/3 scoreless innings to start a major league career was Dave Ford in September 1978.

“I just remember being very relaxed and very confident,” said Wright, 26, a third-round pick in 2011 out of East Carolina. “I went in and I tried to do my thing and I had really good results. This year going in, I’m going to try to make every start from here on out like those first two, because those are definitely the only two starts that I’m trying to remember.”

Wright is right. He wasn’t nearly as good in his other seven starts, and he finished 3-5 with a 6.04 ERA and 1.567 WHIP in 12 appearances. However, lessons are learned through adversity.

“I’ve had struggles in every level basically,” he said. “It’s all about making in-game adjustments and not midseason or even game to game, but pitch to pitch adjustments and just being relaxed and being confident.”

I don’t think Wright has much more to prove in the minors after going 9-1 with a 2.22 ERA and 1.037 WHIP last year in 15 games (14 starts) at Triple-A Norfolk, but I can envision him returning to the Tides rotation and waiting for his next opportunity.

In the Orioles’ perfect world, they add a veteran starter with a track record to replace Wei-Yin Chen, and Wright and Tyler Wilson help provide the depth that they’re also seeking. Two pitching prospects beating down the door would be music to their ears.

The Wright-Wilson dynamic intrigues me. They always seem to be linked based on their prospect status, their arrivals in the majors last season and the possibility that they will be competing for one rotation spot in spring training.

“I will say this: As far as a teammate goes, I don’t think there’s any teammate pulling for Tyler more than I am,” Wright said. “He’s a fantastic guy, he works hard, he’s got great values. I pull for him just as much as I pull for myself.

“Obviously, I want to make it and if it comes between me and him, I’d rather be the person, but he’s a great guy. I pull for him more than anybody.”

Speaking of the really good guys in the game, Wright felt so bad about his poor cell phone service yesterday, which interrupted his interview multiple times, he tweeted an apology and the rest of his comment that closed the segment. Such a classy gesture.

“Confidence in self and being relaxed is key more than the strength and conditioning and mechanics, about not changing and being true to who you are as a person and pitcher,” he wrote.

You’ve got to love social media.

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