BALTIMORE—For five seasons, pitcher Mike Wright teased the Orioles with his potential. They showed exceptional patience with the 29-year-old. However, that patience has finally been exhausted, and the Orioles designated the right-hander for assignment on Sunday.
Wright, who was 10-12 with a 5.95 ERA in 101 games, will be put on waivers. If no team claims him, he could remain in the Orioles’ organization.
“It’s been a tough morning,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We need innings, and we need a fresh arm in here, and that’s the decision we came up with. It was hard to give Mike the news this morning.”
Wright was 0-1 with a 9.45 ERA in 10 games with one save this season. He allowed four runs in 3 1/3 innings in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader.
“We’re hoping he clears [waivers],” Hyde said. “We’re hoping he stays in the organization. I just want what’s best for him. If he gets another opportunity with a big league club, that would be great. If not, I would love to see him back here at some point.”
Wright was both a starter and reliever for the Orioles, but he never showed consistency.
“It’s command. It’s not stuff,” Hyde said. “When we saw him really good…he was 96-97 mph. The cutter was off the plate. Guys had bad swings on him. That’s the guy I think can have success in the big leagues.”
Hyde was most impressed with Wright when he recorded his only major league save on March 29 at Yankee Stadium. Wright struck out Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Andujar to pick up the save.
“What I saw besides that was a lot of misses in the middle,” Hyde said. “You miss in the middle, especially in this ballpark, and you’re going to have trouble.”
Opponents were batting .351 against Wright.
“It wasn’t walks,” Hyde said. “It was being able to put guys away. That’s pretty much been our staff right now.”
Hyde started Wright during spring training, and liked how he pitched.
“I was hoping that that outing in New York was going to be a confidence booster for him,” Hyde said. “When you can’t execute, there’s mechanical things, but there’s also a confidence level, too, of being able to locate and being able to get big league hitters out and get off the barrel.
“I was hoping that that outing in New York, when he got thrown in there in that save situation, and he succeeded, his confidence level would rise, and he would take off from there, and it didn’t seem to happen.”
The Orioles selected the contract of right-hander Gabriel Ynoa from Triple-A Norfolk to replace Wright on the roster.
Ynoa was 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA in three starts for Norfolk. He missed almost all of the 2018 season with shin splints and an arm injury. In 19 major league games with the New York Mets and Orioles in 2016 and 2017, Ynoa is 3-3 with a 4.92 ERA.
“I didn’t lose hope,” Ynoa said of his injuries through a translator. “Those are the kind of things that happen to baseball players. Fortunately, I was able to overcome that. I always knew that there was always an opportunity, and I could come back.”