Jair Jurrjens, who will make his Orioles debut Saturday, spoke with the local media after arriving in the clubhouse Friday.
Here's the Q&A:
What are your thoughts being back in the big leagues?
This is everyone wants to be. When you are playing professional ball everybody wants to play in the big leagues. I just happen to be back and am ready to help the team out.
What have last 6 weeks been like?
I've been just trying to get my stuff back together and just keep working and trying to have fun again playing baseball. I've been doing that and have been working hard to try and get better.
Was spring training difficult?
When you come to spring training, this spring training was a little different for me. The past five years I just came in and knew I had a spot on a team. I wasn't. I knew some guys really pitched well and they deserved it to start the season and it gave myself time to go down there and work on getting stronger and work on my control and get my stuff back together.
How is your right knee?
It's feeling good. I haven't really been paying attention to my velocity. I really cannot tell you how fast I am throwing. I'm just happy with the way I've been performing the last couple outings. I'm getting a lot of swings and misses again and that's a good sign. I'm just trying to repeat my delivery and keep being consistent. And keep on getting innings.
When did you find out about promotion?
I heard a couple days ago. Actually a friend of mine texted me, 'I heard you were going to the big leagues.' I said like, 'I don't know what you're talking about.' Then some of the guys on the team started saying that. For me it wasn't until yesterday that I finally heard officially from (Norfolk manager Ron Johnson) in the dugout. I really wasn't prepared, I'm just trying to take it day-by-day and just wait until I get official word.
Right knee much better?
My knee has been fine. I don't know why you guys keep talking about it. I know it's something you guys need to ask but I am fine. The strength coach down there had a really good plan for me and it seems like it is working. Every game I pitched down there I at least passed five innings, go into the sixth and the seventh, I think only twice I didn't have a quality start. So it means that it's working, something's working.
Is it difficult being passed by earlier this year?
No, I know the business. I wasn’t on the 40-man and guys on the 40-man always get the first call. Those guys were pitching good at that time. You know it is part of the game. And I wasn’t concentrating on when I’m going to get called up. I was concentrating on getting back to my old form and keep my mindset healthy and I was able to perform.
Open rotation spot with Chen out? How do you not focus on Saturday as a tryout?
It's not my first time pitching in the big leagues, in a big league ballpark. I'm just going to take it as another game. I'm going to go out and try to eat innings and try to give my team the best performance I can.
Do you know the knee is getting stronger because of eating innings or better delivery?
It’s from the delivery and the exercises I wasn’t able to do a year ago and just being able to run again during my starts. That’s a sign that means it is getting back to being 100 percent again.
At Triple-A, can you get a sense of how your stuff will play here?
It's a little bit difficult because guys down there guys are just going up there and swinging. Here, guys are more patient and look for one pitch to hit. I know it is different, but when people swing and miss, you know something is working. And there are a lot of big league hitters down in Triple-A too that played in the big leagues. I know for sure it is going to change, swings and misses up here, but I'm just going to try to throw strikes and get people out.