Right-hander Zach Clark had a crazy week -- he went from being promoted to the majors, to pitching in his first big league game, to being designated for assignment and then finally to clearing waivers on Monday.
The 29-year-old UMBC graduate has been sent to Double-A Bowie, where he’ll work on throwing a knuckleball.
After parts of eight seasons in the minors, Clark made his debut with the Orioles on Wednesday in Seattle and allowed three runs in 1 2/3 innings. He was taken off the 40-man roster to make room for Freddy Garcia.
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Instead of returning to a crowded Triple-A rotation, Clark will go to Double-A and work on a knuckleball.
It’s not a rarity in the organization. This spring, Hall of Fame knuckleballer Phil Niekro worked with two other Orioles minor leaguers, Eddie Gamboa and Zach Staniewicz, to improve their knucklers.
According to executive vice president Dan Duquette, Clark will report to Bowie on Thursday and will work with Niekro, who will be with the Baysox already tutoring Gamboa.
"Zach is an experienced capable pitcher and has always had a good knuckleball, which he will now throw in competition," Duquette said.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter helped convince 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey to try the knuckleball when they were together in Texas.
FoxSports.com first reported that Clark would be trying the knuckleball in Bowie.