The one thing the Orioles’ bullpen has been missing throughout this season is a dependable situational left-handed reliever, and the club will add one when it reassembles Thursday in Tampa Bay.
The Orioles plan to select the contract of reliever Donnie Hart from Double-A Bowie, according to an industry source. The 25-year-old Hart, the team’s 27th-round draft pick in 2013 out of Texas State, was 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA in 33 appearances with the Baysox, striking out 43 and allowing 34 hits over 39 relief innings.
Throughout the season, the Orioles have been seeking an additional relief arm to get left-handed hitters out. Situational lefty Brian Matusz struggled after coming off the disabled list and was released. T.J. McFarland, more suited for a long relief role anyway, is out with a knee injury.
They’ve also used left-handers Ashur Tolliver, Brian Duensing, Ariel Miranda and Jayson Aquino with varying levels of success.
Right-handed reliever Brad Brach can retire lefties but has slotted into the set-up role with Darren O’Day on the disabled list. And while right-hander Mychal Givens is doing better, he’s struggled against left-handed hitters this season.
Hart, who owns an unconventional sidearm delivery that’s been compared to O’Day’s, is holding left-handed hitters to a .158 batting average this season at Bowie.
The Orioles have already made 40-man space by outrighting right-hander David Hale and also created 25-man roster room by optioning right-hander Jason Garcia back to Bowie.
The Orioles will hold a closed workout on Thursday evening at Tropicana Field before opening the second half Friday in against the Rays.
BaltimoreBaseball.com first reported that the Orioles are selecting Hart's contract.