Eduardo A. Encina and Peter Schmuck discuss the new additions to the Orioles after the intrasquad game was canceled because of rain. (Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun video)
SARASOTA, FLA. — The Orioles' two recently acquired left-handed pitchers – Vidal Nuno and Richard Bleier – reported to big league camp with their new team Wednesday.
The Orioles acquired Nuno from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday in exchange for minor league right-hander Ryan Moseley, then acquired Bleier from the New York Yankees on Tuesday for a player to be named later.
Both will add left-handed pitching depth – one of the team's offseason priorities – and both come to the team with minor league options, which add valuable roster flexibility. Both also have experience starting and relieving.
"Every day is something new and every team is trying to build to the top of their bullpen or whatever piece they need," Nuno said about being traded. "[The Orioles] needed me, so I'm really thrilled to get the opportunity and I'm going to try to succeed to the fullest."
Vidal Nuno says he is "thrilled" to get the opportunity to join the Orioles. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun video)
Nuno was in Dodgers camp in Arizona for just a few days before being dealt to the Orioles, his fourth big league team since 2014. He posted a 3.53 ERA in 58 2/3 innings working almost exclusively in relief with the Seattle Mariners last season. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Tuesday that he sees Nuno as both a starter and reliever.
"Yeah, that's my repertoire right there," Nuno said of pitching in both roles. "Yeah, I've been [pitching] the past year and a half in the bullpen role, so wherever they throw at me, I'll try to do my best and get these guys out."
Nuno will leave camp on March 5 to join the Mexican World Baseball Classic team in Jalisco, Mexico, so he will have just 11 days in camp before his departure. But Nuno said that should leave plenty of time to get adjusted to a new organization.
"It's no challenge," Nuno said. "It's just being around the clubhouse, being around the complex day in, day out, just getting acclimated with the guys and go upon my daily routine."
Bleier -- who spent most of the past nine seasons in the minors before getting his first major league experience late last season with the Yankees -- pitched well in relief, posting a 1.96 ERA in 23 innings. But he was mostly a starter last season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, going 2-3 with a 3.72 ERA in 12 games (10 starts).
Richard Bleier, who was acquired from the New York Yankees in a trade, says he is "thankful" another team was interested in him. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun video)
"I think the biggest thing for me was that I thought that I could get big league hitters out and actually got to the big leagues and proved to myself that I can do it," Bleier said. "That confidence, knowing that I can compete. Everybody believes in themselves, me as well, but proving to myself that I can do it is the biggest thing for me."
Bleier held lefties to a .150 average in the majors, but right-handers batters hit .304 against him. Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said Bleier's development of a cutter could help him against righties.
"I think I'd like to get as many people out as I can, lefties or righties, and see where the dust settles," Bleier said.
Bleier, who was designated for assignment by the Yankees on Thursday, said he wasn't necessarily surprised to be let go, especially given his age. He turns 30 in April.
"I think that regardless, someone in my situation, a 29-year-old rookie, kind of just -- whether it's between me and a 24-year-old rookie, I think it just makes more sense to get rid of the older guy unfortunately," Bleier said. "I try and be realistic. I didn't think I was going to make it through the offseason. I think that my numbers put me in front of a few other guys and then they just got to me on the list of people where they needed a roster spot for."