On Monday, right-hander Oliver Drake was named the International League Pitcher of the Week. Today, he got an even better reward: another trip to the big leagues.
The Orioles today recalled Drake from Triple-A Norfolk, and infielder Paul Janish cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A. Because Janish has been outrighted before, he has three days to decide whether he will report to the Tides or elect free agency. Today’s moves leaves the Orioles’ 40-man roster at 39.
“Paul’s a pro,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Hopefully, he is going to go home and take his options into consideration. He’s got three days and he’s still part of the organization as we speak. He has cleared waivers with 29 other clubs. Hopefully, he’ll take a look at it and join the Norfolk club Friday in Columbus.”
In 14 games with the Orioles, Janish has hit .194 with no homers or RBIs over 31 at-bats. In 27 games at Norfolk, the 29-year-old Drake is 0-1 with a 2.03 ERA. Over 26 2/3 innings, he has allowed 18 hits with 13 walks, 42 strikeouts and an average against of .186.
Drake has been on a roll lately in Triple-A. He has not allowed an earned run over his last 14 appearances covering 14 innings, over which he’s held batters to a .143 average (7-for-49) with 25 strikeouts and two walks.
“He’s been pitching real well for an extended period of time,” Showalter said of Drake. “He’s very deserving. We had a lot of guys to pick from down there.”
A 43rd-round draft pick from the Naval Academy in 2008, Drake made his major league debut for the Orioles last year. He went 0-0 with an ERA of 2.87 over 15 2/3 innings. He was also a co-winner of the Jim Palmer Award (with Mychal Givens) as O’s 2015 minor league Pitcher of the Year.
Meanwhile, Showalter today still did not yet name his starting pitcher for tomorrow’s game.
“We’ve got really five options. Do everything we can to try to figure out a way to win tonight and a lot depends on how the game goes tonight. Kind of where we are,” Showalter said.
Showalter also said he was not sure if left-hander Brian Duensing would be available tonight.
“He was not available last night. He’s getting something looked at in his elbow as we speak,” Showalter said. “Another reason behind Oliver (being here). It cropped up in the second or third inning last night. He told Dom (Chiti, bullpen coach) about it and we had the Rangers doctor look at it and they’re getting more extensive stuff done today. Hopefully, we’ll know something by gametime.”