Veteran left-hander Brian Duensing joins Orioles bullpen

Veteran left-hander Brian Duensing was called up Thursday from Triple-A Norfolk, just 10 days after signing a minor league contract with the Orioles and will move into the bullpen to fill the left-handed middle relief/specialist role.

Duensing spent seven years pitching for the Minnesota Twins before signing as a free agent with the Kansas City Royals at the start of spring training. He never pitched at the major league level with the Royals and opted out of his minor league contract on May 15 after going 1-0 with a 3.10 ERA and two saves in 12 appearances with Triple-A Omaha.


During his brief stay with the Tides, he made three scoreless appearances and struck out six in three innings.

Though he made 61 starts during his career with the Twins, manager Buck Showalter definitively said that Duensing will not be a candidate to fill the void created in the Orioles rotation when Mike Wright was sent to Norfolk on Thursday.


The Orioles have been getting by without a situational left-hander since Brian Matusz was traded to the Atlanta Braves on May 23. But Showalter has not cast that as a major handicap because of the ability of his right-handed setup guys to get left-handed hitters out.

"All our guys are capable of it," he said. "I feel good about [Brad] Brach. … Mychal [Givens] has had some trouble with them statistically, but he's capable of better. Darren [O'Day] has defended himself well over his career and Zach [Britton]. I know Mike Scioscia for years in Anaheim, the year they won the world championship, they didn't have a left-hander for three or four years but they had right-handed people.

"There are so many guys right now in bullpens that are reverse-split guys. That's one of the real changes in the game the last few years I've noticed is how many right-handed pitchers there are that get left-handers out better than right-handers."

Duensing arrived the day after left-hander T.J. McFarland rejoined the major league club, leaving room to speculate that McFarland – who pitched well as a starter at Norfolk – might temporarily fill the slot left open by Wright.