Asher Wojciechowski on his scoreless start against Tampa Bay

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles are starting to stack up some good outings from their starting rotation candidates. Right-hander Asher Wojciechowski was the latest to deliver today.

In his second spring start, he pitched three hitless and scoreless innings, facing the minimum nine batters against the Tampa Bay Rays at Ed Smith Stadium.

This followed John Means with his nine up and out outing yesterday against the Phillies. And Keegan Akin with a run allowed over two innings Saturday and Brandon Bailey with two scoreless Friday. You get the point. The rotation candidates have been putting up some zeroes.

Wojciechowski-Flips-Ball-White-sidebar.jpg“I think we’re all throwing the ball really well,” Wojciechowski said after his outing. “It is spring training though. It’s good to build confidence here, but it’s different when the lights come on during the season. But it’s great we’re throwing the ball well and all learning from each other. And we are going to take this into the season, be a confident group and go out there and compete and give it our all.”

Wojciechowski walked the leadoff batter this afternoon, Rays left fielder Austin Meadows. But then he got a 4-6-3 double play and groundout to end the first at 14 pitches. He retired the side in order the next two innings and made himself a nice backhand stop on the mound for the second out of the second. He threw 41 pitches, 27 for strikes with the walk and two strikeouts.

“Yeah. I thought I threw the ball well and threw a lot of strikes again,” he said. “Just really coming into my delivery and my mechanics. Still got some work to do on my off-speed stuff. But I was happy with the fastball and how it’s coming out and location.”

Wojciechowski dealt with a blister on his right middle finger before his first start, but it was no issue again today. He’s allowed one run through five innings this spring.

“I don’t think I’m there yet. It’s my second outing,” he said. “We have three more weeks of camp. Use this as a springboard. Probably have four more starts to really get tuned up and ready for the season. Just trying to take advantage of every day and get prepared for the season.”

After his first start - last Wednesday against Atlanta - he said he started to throw a split-change to add to his four-seam fastball, slider and cutter.

He tried to work on the pitch, tossing a few more today.

“They weren’t good today,” he said bluntly. “So have to keep on working on them. And just trying to get some good movement. I threw them and they were straight and hard - not what I wanted. It’s a new pitch. So I’m happy I was able to go on out there and I threw, like, three. Able to work on it and put myself into positions to throw my fourth pitch to work on it. But it wasn’t good, so keep on working on it.”

Is he committed to using the pitch during the year?

“It’s a pitch I want to use,” he said. “I would like to have a fourth pitch. My three other pitches are really good pitches. So, I’m going to work on it here. If I can develop it to where I feel comfortable using it in the season, then yeah, it would be a great to have a fourth weapon.”

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