Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette met with the local media Wednesday to talk mainly about the signing of Cuban left-hander Ariel Miranda, who will report to either high Single-A Frederick or Double-A Bowie after he gets acclimated pitching at the organization’s minor league facility in Sarasota, Fla.
Duquette wouldn’t disclose the specific signing bonus for the 26-year-old Miranda, who was 22-25 with a 3.78 ERA in seven seasons in Cuba, but said it was less than the $800,000 given to Dariel Alvarez in 2013 -- the record for players signed out of Cuba by the Orioles.
Duquette said Miranda’s fastball was clocked between 92 and 94, and he also has a forkball and slider.
“He has good experience and he has good pitches, so we are hoping he can help us maybe later this year or sometime next year,” Duquette said. “But he’s got a lot of really good attributes and experience to be a helpful major league pitcher soon.”
Here’s what Duquette said on some other subjects:
On designating outfielder Alejandro De Aza for assignment: “We have some depth on our left-handed hitting side of the roster and we’re going to see if his contract has value with some other clubs. … There are a couple clubs that were interested in him. … We’ll see. I think he’ll be able to land a major league job.”
On the disappointment of De Aza’s struggles, considering the Orioles and Duquette were counting on him: “It’s like a stack of dominoes. If the foundation of the base is not there, some of the dominoes fall. So you’ve got to have the balance left- and right-handed and you have to have a number of players contributing up and down the lineup to score the runs required to be competitive.”
On Dylan Bundy’s right-shoulder diagnosis: “He saw the doctor and he has some tendinitis in his right shoulder, so he’s been directed to rest. I think anti-inflammatories were prescribed.”
Duquette said Bundy had an MRI, as directed by the Orioles. “He has tendinitis,” Duquette said the MRI confirmed.
On whether the De Aza decision sends a message to other struggling veterans: “You try to evaluate your team and give everybody an opportunity. We’re two months into the season. We’re almost two full months into season and we’re a little bit past the quarter pole in the race. Sometimes it takes the veteran players a little more time to come around, but you’ve got to have a foundation for your team where the players can contribute day in and day out. We’ve been able to have some depth in the organization and now we’re going to see some of those players given the opportunity to help the team.”
On whether he’s heard anything on Brian Matusz’s appeal of his eight-game suspension: “We haven’t heard from the league on the trial date, the hearing. I thought we might hear from the league yesterday, but we haven’t heard. I’m sure we’ll hear as soon as they got to it.”