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2 relievers have risen from depths


Jim Dedrick and Joe Borowski both sat in Bowie in June, thinking their careers were in a tailspin.

Not only hadn't they made the major leagues, but they had been demoted from Triple-A to Double-A.

Fast forward two months and it's a completely different story. Not only have they made the majors, but they are playing integral roles as the Orioles' middle relievers. Not bad for a couple of guys who believed being September call-ups was a long shot.

Dedrick and Borowski have allowed just seven hits and one earned run in 10 2/3 innings.

Despite their similar ascent to the majors, Dedrick and Borowski also have their differences.

Dedrick is 27 years old, and has flip-flopped between starter and reliever throughout his career. His first shot in the majors came in a season when twice he had thought his career was over.

On March 30, Dedrick had a procedure performed on his heart to remove extra fibers. "I thought I would never really pitch again," Dedrick said.

Dedrick has had three EKGs since and said he has less than a 1 percent chance of recurrence.

Then his second setback came when he was demoted from Triple-A Rochester to Double-A Bowie in May.

"I thought to myself: Is my career going backward and why is this happening when I was pitching good at Rochester," Dedrick said. "Every year, I thought that it was going to be my year to play for the Orioles, except this one."

After 16 games at Bowie, Dedrick got promoted back to Rochester and earned a shot with the Orioles.

"I've worked my way up," said Dedrick, who had a 4-0 record with a 1.77 ERA at Rochester. "Any role that keeps me here is fine."

Conversely, Borowski, 24, has had a less tumultuous route to the Orioles. Armed with a powerful slider, Borowski is projected to be a late-inning reliever at the major-league level.

"His control has improved since last year," Orioles pitching coach Mike Flanagan said. "I think he just needs experience. He's got the pitches to be closer material here."

But Borowski didn't feel like he would get that experience after his first demotion in his professional career, going from Rochester to Bowie.

"That was the first time I reflected back on my career," Borowski said. "It was the only time I was upset, too."

He then went on good stretches at Bowie and Rochester that landed him two promotions to the Orioles in July. However, those promotions were for a total of nine days.

"I just want to get experience and keep getting into games," said Borowski, who hasn't allowed a hit or a run in 3 2/3 innings over two games. "Wherever they need me, I'll pitch. I just want to stay here."

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