Left-handed pitcher Bruce Zimmermann, a Baltimore native, has been recalled from the Bowie alternate site to start Game 2 of Thursday’s doubleheader with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Zimmermann, who attended Loyola-Blakefield High and began his college career at Towson, was obtained by the Orioles on July 31, 2018 in the trade that sent Kevin Gausman and Darren O’Day to Atlanta.
Last season, the 25-year-old was 7-6 with a 3.21 ERA in 25 games for Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk.
Zimmermann had a slow start in summer training after a positive test for Covid-19.
He pitched well during spring training and was scheduled to start against Minnesota in Fort Myers on March 12th before the season was put on hold that afternoon because of the pandemic.
“Very exciting, he’s been throwing the ball well down at Bowie,” manager Brandon Hyde said in a video conference call on Thursday. “Kind of picked up where he left off in spring training. I really felt like he was throwing the ball great. I heard a lot about it, but watching him in major league spring training games, I was really impressed with his stuff.”
The Orioles also recalled right-hander Branden Kline from Bowie and have added right-hander Evan Phillips as the 29th man for the doubleheader.
Right-hander Asher Wojciechowski, who was 1-3 with a 6.81 ERA in 10 games, seven of them starts, has been designated for assignment.
“Very, very tough morning,” Hyde said after telling Wojciechowski the news.
“Especially last year, he really picked us up. We were in dire need of starting pitching. We were having a tough time of finishing nine innings of baseball a lot of nights with very few guys available out of the ‘pen. Our rotation was all over the place and not giving us many innings on a lot of nights. Wojo did a really good job of solidifying and helping us out.”
The Orioles will have to make a move after Game 1 to add Zimmermann to the roster.
Hyde said that Zimmermann would stay with the Orioles after Thursday’s game but wasn’t sure if he would start again.
“He will pitch after today,” Hyde said.