Orioles put Zac Lowther in bullpen for now; Hyde says Davis is 'rehabbing' - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles put Zac Lowther in bullpen for now; Hyde says Davis is ‘rehabbing’

Zac Lowther
Photo credit: Steve Cockey

Pitcher Zac Lowther was called up to the Orioles from the alternate training site at Bowie without having pitched at Triple-A. When Lowther makes his debut for the Orioles, it will be the first time he pitches in a game that counts since September 2019 when he was with the Double-A Baysox.

“It was a little surprising,” Lowther said about the call-up. “After spring I went to Bowie at the alternate site and just kept getting my work in. I knew that it takes me a little while to get going, and being able to go down there in a more relaxed environment, get the work in, see high-level guys and get my stuff in was going to get me into a better position to get here.

“It was a little surprising how early it happened, but I’m really excited about it.”

Lowther had special company when he heard the news.

“My wife and daughter just got here yesterday,” he said. “My daughter went  to sleep at around 8. Me and my wife crashed right after the Orioles game, rolled over, put my phone down, and the ringer was on loud. I was scared about waking up my daughter.

“My wife rolls over, and says, ‘What? What happened?’ ‘Oh, I just got called up? ‘Is this a dream?’ Being able to tell her in person was really exciting. I hopped over to the bathroom to make a call to my parents and her parents. They’re all making the trip down [from Ohio]. It’s going to be really fun.”

Manager Brandon Hyde said that the 24-year-old left-hander, who was chosen in the second round of the 2017 draft, was needed in the bullpen for now.

“It was the need for somebody that can give us multiple innings,” Hyde said. “Zac being on the [40-man] roster, throwing the ball well at the alternate site, had a good spring training … even though he didn’t throw much on the main field, he did throw a lot on the back field. He threw the ball well. After the last couple of nights, we felt like we needed somebody to give us length in case we need it, and we decided to call Zac up.”

The Orioles don’t have a starter listed for Wednesday’s game against the New York Yankees. Dean Kremer is eligible to be recalled from the alternate site, where he went after his last start because the Orioles didn’t need a No. 5 starter for the short term. Perhaps,Lowther will get the start, or one in the near future.

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“I think he’s a candidate to start, or be in the bullpen, so both,” Hyde said. “We’re calling him up today in case we need some length out of our bullpen.”

Lowther was 13-7 with a 2.55 ERA in 26 starts for Bowie in 2019. Last season, Lowther would have been at Triple-A Norfolk, but because of the canceled minor league season, he missed a year of competition. He was at the alternate site at Bowie late in the season.

“I think it’s a steppingstone that a lot of people need,” Lowther said. “I was ready to go on that path, no matter what. Being able to see the level of guys that I have this year and last year, it gave me a good replacement, as best as it could, to be able to compete here.”

Lowther, who started in one of the exhibition games against the Nationals’ alternate site team, would have thrown at Bowie on Sunday.

Hyde said that because of the lost minor league season, the old rules about the necessity of Triple-A don’t apply.

“Some of these guys might be getting here a little quicker than normal,” Hyde said. “We feel good about how Zac is throwing the ball at the alternate site, and we’re giving him an opportunity.”

Lowther is confident he can compete in the majors.

“I feel like I’m really ready,” Lowther said. “Being able to see the competition last year at Bowie, and this year again, and getting the outings in spring. The buildup was really good this year, knowing what to expect when you go to your second big league camp and you’re around the guys who’ve done it before, asking questions and getting a feel for how things go up here.

“When I got here today, it was like I belonged, and just being able to find my way if I can.”

To make room for Lowther on the 26-man roster, the Orioles designated left-hander Wade LeBlanc for assignment. LeBlanc started Saturday night’s game against the Oakland A’s and retired five batters but allowed four runs. He didn’t get much support from his defense.

“It was really hard,” Hyde said about his exit conversation with LeBlanc. “We like Wade a lot. He’s a pro. We talked a lot yesterday. He’s a big-time pro who was great in our clubhouse. He was one of the few veteran guys we have. It’s not easy to have that conversation with somebody like that.”

Notes: Hyde said that Chris Davis, who’s on the 60-day injured list because of a strained lower back, is “just rehabbing.” Hyde wasn’t specific about where Davis is rehabbing, but said it wasn’t in Sarasota. … Matt Harvey (1-1, 5.12ERA ) will start on Monday night against the Yankees’ Deivi Garcia, who will be making his first start of the season. Bruce Zimmermann will face Corey Kluber on Tuesday. Domingo Germán will pitch for the Yankees on Wednesday, and Jorge López will face Jordan Montgomery on Thursday afternoon.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    April 25, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    Awesome seeing Lowther (a NEO kid), kind of surprised, guess really not the Sisco goes 2/4 & is rewarded by the bench, honestly not sure Hyde knows how to set a lineup or work his pitchers…Hays looking awesome so far today…go O’s…

    • Rich Dubroff

      April 25, 2021 at 2:38 pm

      Ray, Chance Sisco is a lifetime .125 hitter against left-handed pitching. Catchers rarely catch day games after night games.

    • CalsPals

      April 25, 2021 at 2:44 pm

      Mullins was worse than that…just saying…go O’s…

  2. Bhoffman1

    April 25, 2021 at 3:39 pm

    Just rehabbing at home in Texas counting his dollars and working on his swing

    • CalsPals

      April 25, 2021 at 3:45 pm

      Owwww, pulled something in his forearm…lol…go O’s…

  3. CalsPals

    April 25, 2021 at 4:03 pm

    Congrats to Zac Lowther, you made your family, the O’s & NEO very proud…go O’s…

  4. dlgruber1

    April 25, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    This may sound picky but, oh well, Davis should be rehabbing in Sarasota. He should at least be made to feel like a teammate in some way.

    • CalsPals

      April 25, 2021 at 4:55 pm

      Best way he could be a teammate would be to 1) retire or 2) donate to players not making real money…doubt he’s up for either…go O’s…

    • ClayDal

      April 25, 2021 at 5:16 pm

      It would make sense for Davis to be in Sarasota or Baltimore getting rehab on his back. My guess is he is not close to resuming “baseball activities”. If he isn’t doing anything baseball related, suppose he can rehab in Texas and his doctors can send reports to the Orioles medical staff. All jokes aside, if his back heals up, the Orioles will have to either activate or release him. Question for Rich-does anyone know where Hunter Harvey is rehabbing?

      • Rich Dubroff

        April 25, 2021 at 5:23 pm

        The alternate site in Bowie, John.

    • Icterus fan

      April 25, 2021 at 6:15 pm

      I agree with this philosophy, Gruber but we’re assuming he is NOT in Sarasota, or using team facilities in any way, correct?
      I’m not sure we know one way or another. Either way, it’s just a colossal embarrassing imbroglio.

    • Bhoffman1

      April 25, 2021 at 7:03 pm

      Why don’t you guys face the facts. No one goes on 60 day dL with a back strain after two swings and then does a secret rehab. They know he’s finished but don’t have the courage to release him hoping to pay him less next season if there is a strike. So like Rich said he probably will never be on the field ever again which is good for this team if we ever get serious about winning again

    • Icterus fan

      April 25, 2021 at 7:43 pm

      Whoever is not “facing the facts”, please stand up…..

    • Bhoffman1

      April 25, 2021 at 8:57 pm

      I won’t mention names icterus

    • dlgruber1

      April 25, 2021 at 10:17 pm

      Listen, while I agree with everyone here that he’ll likely NEVER be a meaningful part of this team any more, I just have way too many fond memories of him. From ‘12 thru ‘16 he carried that team many times. I’ll never forget his record setting performance at Tampa at the beginning of the 2013 season, then culminated by his grand slam vs the Twins on Opening Day in Baltimore.

  5. NormOs

    April 25, 2021 at 5:34 pm

    I hope we have seen the last of Leblanc and hopefully Lopez to follow. Also, everyone had a good time watching The O’s today, why ruin it by bringing Davis into the conversation? All the rehabbing in the world would still make him the worst hitter in baseball.

    • CalsPals

      April 25, 2021 at 6:20 pm

      :)…:)…:)….go O’s…

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