Orioles' Mike Wright on his one-day demotion: 'This is where I belong'

Orioles starting pitcher Mike Wright was just recalled to the club at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 3, 2016.
Orioles starting pitcher Mike Wright was just recalled to the club at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 3, 2016. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

Don't let the fact that he was only gone for a day trick you.

Orioles pitcher Mike Wright,  whose fiery demeanor on the mound matches the heat he brings with his mid-90s fastball, still burns from how this week played out.


On Wednesday, he allowed six runs — including four home runs — without making it out of the third inning against the Boston Red Sox. On Thursday, he was sent to Triple-A Norfolk to refocus and find consistency as a starter. But on Friday, the Orioles added him back to the roster in place of reliever Darren O'Day, who went on the disabled list with a hamstring strain.

He was back with the team in time to have a high-intensity flat-ground session before Friday's win over the New York Yankees, and made it clear after that workout that being back so quickly doesn't change how he sees what transpired.

"I still got sent down," Wright said. "Still lights a little bit of a fire inside of me. I'm going to keep working, and see how it plays out. …

"It sucks getting sent down. You don't want to get sent down. This is where I belong. That's how I feel, but when you're not performing, that's what this game is all about. We're not here to throw Home Run Derby. I understood it, and it's not going to be like this the rest of the year."

When he was sent out, manager Buck Showalter said Wright would start in Norfolk, and will be a starter again this year for the Orioles. It's unclear whether that's still the plan now that he's back, with his turn in the rotation Monday still listed as undecided. Showalter said the Orioles will see how the weekend turns out, and likely monitor how much they use long relievers T.J. McFarland and Vance Worley before deciding who pitches in Wright's spot.

If it ends up being Wright, it seems he'll take the mound with some new perspective. Showalter said Wright arrived at the ballpark early Thursday morning and rewatched each of his starts this season to try to pinpoint parts of his game that he can improve upon. He had a 5.88 ERA in 10 appearances (nine starts), with three quality starts in 2016.

One of the looser players in an already loose clubhouse was strikingly serious Thursday before he got the news that he'd been sent out. Wright knew he hadn't been good enough Wednesday, and knew it was on him to change it.

"It's been, just, eye-opening, you know?" he said. "This is obviously the big leagues. You've got to perform. I was doing everything I can [to fix it], just like I've been doing all year, just with a little bit high-intensity with the stuff that happened the day before. You've just got to keep working."

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