The Orioles on Friday added right-hander Richard Rodriguez to their bullpen as a part of five roster additions that also included top prospect Chance Sisco, slugger Pedro Álvarez, reliever Jimmy Yacabonis and outfielder Joey Rickard.
Rodriguez had a 2.42 ERA for the Tides, and is coming off a strong August when he struck out 18 batters and allowed just nine to reach base in 10 2/3 innings pitched.
“Last night, when I was on the bus headed to Charlotte, the manager [Ron Johnson] called for me,” Rodriguez said through interpreter Ramón Alarcón. “He took me into his office, told me about this great news. It's unbelievable. I don't have any words to describe it.”
Rodriguez, acquired in a minor league trade with the Houston Astros in June 2015, had a 2.53 ERA and a 1.102 WHIP last year at Norfolk and followed it up with similar success this year. But as the Orioles continued to call up pitchers this season, he said he wasn’t put off by his exclusion.
“I didn't feel frustrated,” Rodriguez said. “Obviously, it's something I wanted ever since I was a little child. But I was just trying to control what I can control. Being called to the big leagues is not something I can control. It's not my decision. I respect that, and I just try to focus on going out there and trying to do a good job.”
“I'm kind of intrigued by Rich,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Just about anybody who went down there came back talking about him. It'll be interesting to see how he does. He's got a good arm.”
Wilson and Verrett have each been up-and-down arms for the Orioles this year, with Wilson even starting a game. Wilson had a 4.74 ERA in 20 starts for the Tides, while Verrett was a swingman who had a 5.10 ERA with Norfolk.
They have seven days to pass through waivers and be outrighted to the minors, or traded to another club.
“Sometimes, you do them a favor,” Showalter said. “I talked about it in spring with Oliver Drake; you do them a favor. If they’re out of options, going back and forth, let them go pitch in the big leagues. Sometimes, that’s part of that, too, whether it’s Logan or Tyler or Oliver. We’re probably going to have to take one or two more off, but you’ve got to ask yourself, ‘Do we have something to replace that and can we find a similar piece in the offseason?’”
On Wilson, Showalter said he’s a “major league” caliber person and he’d be glad to have him back, though he hopes his career can blossom elsewhere if he doesn’t return.