The Orioles recalled right-handed pitcher Alex Burnett from Triple-A Norfolk, and he is in the clubhouse for tonight's game against the Toronto Blue Jays. In a corresponding move struggling right-hander Jake Arrieta was optioned to Norfolk.Burnett hasn’t been told about his role, but he could serve as the team’s long reliever for the next two days before the Orioles need a starter for Wednesday’s afternoon game.
The 27-year-old Arrieta, who is vastly talented but has been inconsistent throughout his big league career, has a 6.63 ERA after four starts this season. On Sunday, he lasted a season-low four innings and allowed five earned runs while only giving up two hits. He issued five walks in that outing and has walked 14 batters over his past three starts.
Burnett pitched the past three seasons with the Twins but was cut by Minnesota this spring and then claimed and waived by the Blue Jays before the Orioles claimed him on April 12.
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Just 10 days later, Burnett is back in the big leagues after throwing 3 2/3 scoreless innings at Triple-A Norfolk, allowing just two hits and striking out four while walking none.
“I wasn’t ready for it because everybody’s doing pretty well up here,” Burnett said. "I’m just excited to have this opportunity and join this ball club.
“It means a lot,” Burnett added. “It means that even though I was let go by the Twins and claimed by two teams in two weeks, that people like the way that I pitch and have faith in me. It just reassures me that I can still pitch to this level.”
Burnett, who is 8-11 with a 4.61 ERA in three major league seasons and was 4-4 with a 3.52 ERA in 71 2/3 innings with the Twins last season, said he hasn’t been told about his role yet.
“I’m very fortunate that a team like the Orioles took a chance on me and claimed me off waivers," Burnett said. "I felt the same way when Toronto did that and then they let me go within two weeks. I took it the best I could and I’m going to try to pitch the best I can no matter where I’m at. I’m excited."