Don’t miss Trey Mancini and Joey Rickard guest bartend at the first Brews & O’s event June 10th. Get your tickets today!

Orioles promote Oliver Drake, agree to terms with Cuban left-hander Ariel Miranda

What's the background story on RHP Oliver Drake, who was just recalled by the Baltimore Orioles today?

Needing reinforcements in the bullpen after a couple of short starting stints, the Orioles have summoned right-hander Oliver Drake, a former Navy pitcher, from Triple-A Norfolk, a source has confirmed.

Although the club has not announced the move, the sense is that Tyler Wilson, who picked up his first big league win in one-plus innings Friday against the Miami Marlins, will be sent back to Norfolk to make room in the bullpen for Drake. Unlike most Orioles relievers, Wilson can be sent to the minors without having to pass through waivers.

The Orioles also have made an interesting international signing, though it won’t be announced for several days.

The club has agreed to a deal with 25-year-old Cuban defector Ariel Miranda, pending a physical Tuesday. No terms of the signing have been reported. Miranda, a left-handed starter, seems to be an under-the-radar signing on the international landscape, but he has put up solid numbers in Cuba, where he has pitched in that country’s league since he was 17.

The 28-year-old Drake, if he officially pitches in the majors, will be a story of perseverance until a dream is realized. A 43rd-round draft pick in 2008, other organizations didn’t realize the U.S. Naval Academy right-hander was eligible for the amateur baseball draft after just two seasons because he had already turned 21.

The Orioles felt they had a real sleeper in Drake, who signed for a $100,000 bonus. He pitched well enough in the minors to be placed on the 40-man roster in November 2011. But a shoulder injury, which required surgery, derailed his career. He fought back, and was again placed on the 40-man roster this offseason.

And he has excelled as a reliever at Triple-A Norfolk. In 16 appearances over 18 2/3 innings, he has allowed 10 hits, four walks and two earned runs while striking out 30 batters. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound right-hander has posted a sparkling 0.96 ERA.

He was considered a leading candidate for the promotion this weekend, but the only negative is that the Orioles were looking for someone to give them several innings at a time, and he has had just one multiple-inning outing this year. But the overall numbers were apparently too hard to ignore.

If Drake pitches here, he’ll become the fifth Oriole to debut in the majors this season. Wilson, pitchers Jason Garcia and Mike Wright, and infielder Rey Navarro also had not appeared in a big league game before 2015.

Miranda’s background is a little more difficult to ascertain.

According to, he last pitched in organized ball in 2013 as part of the Cuban National Series. He pitched for Mayabeque and Isla de la Juventud, going a combined 5-4 with a 3.24 ERA in 13 starts. He struck out 80 batters and walked 28 in 77 2/3 innings in 2013 in Cuba. He began pitching in the league at age 17 and was 22-25 with a 3.78 ERA in parts of seven seasons. He reportedly has been in the Dominican Republic after defecting. first reported Drake being summoned to the majors and first reported Miranda’s signing.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad