When the Orioles begin the second half Friday, they will have a lefty specialist in the bullpen.
According to an industry source, the club is promoting 25-year-old sidearmer Donnie Hart from Double-A Bowie to the majors. The club has a spot open on both its 25-man and 40-man roster for Hart, a 27th round pick out of Texas State University in 2013.
The unheralded Hart does not throw hard and is not on any prospect lists for the Orioles – including Baseball America’s Top 30 for the organization – but he has posted a 2.27 ERA in his career and is 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA and two saves in 33 games this year for the Baysox.
More important, he has been excellent against left-handed hitters. This year, lefties are 9-for-57 (.158 average) against Hart with 26 strikeouts and one walk. Right-handers have hit .284 against him at Bowie.
The Orioles are in desperate need of a left-handed reliever to join closer Zach Britton. They dealt away the ineffective Brian Matusz and Brian Duensing was felled by injury. Also, submariner Darren O’Day, who is good against lefties and right-handers, is injured and there is no set timetable for his return.
Hart is a member of the Eastern League All Star team, which plays tonight. But he’ll soon be on a much bigger stage.