Orioles add right-hander Jay Flaa to their bullpen, option Lowther to alternate site - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles add right-hander Jay Flaa to their bullpen, option Lowther to alternate site

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

The Orioles selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Jay Flaa from the alternate training site at Bowie on Monday and optioned left-handed pitcher Zac Lowther to Bowie.

Lowther was recalled before Sunday’s game and pitched a scoreless ninth inning against Oakland.

“He pitched really well yesterday, and I know that he’ll be back soon,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “It’s just one of those things. He’s early in his career, young, looking forward to having him back here at some point.”

Flaa, who was the Orioles’ sixth-round draft choice in 2015, is 15-10 with a 3.41 ERA in 165 games in the minor leagues. In 2019, Flaa pitched for Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk with a record of 2-5 with five saves and a 4.69 ERA.

The 28-year-old right-hander is a native of Bismarck, North Dakota and would be the 20th major league player from North Dakota. Flaa was a college classmate with Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz at North Dakota State.

Flaa was never on a top-prospect list. This is his first time on a major league 40-man roster.

“I’d like to think that a lot of guys see me as an example of somebody that came from under the radar,” he said. “How fast things can change. I went to bed last night as a regular minor leaguer, and I woke up this morning and my life changed forever. Things can happen that fast. For me to have it pay off is unbelievable.”

Flaa will take the role that Hyde indicated Lowther would fill.

“He can give us multiple innings.,” Hyde said. “The bullpen has been pretty taxed here the last few days. To have somebody that hasn’t pitched in a couple of days that can pick up a couple of innings for us.

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“That’s why we went with Jay. I’m excited to see Jay. He’s a guy that’s been in the organization for a while, and he’s really grinded it out in the minor leagues, at the upper levels. He’s pumped to be here. It was fun to see him today.”

Hyde said that Flaa visited him when he arrived.

“He had a big smile on his face,” Hyde said. “I’ve known Jay from the last few spring trainings. He’s been one of our backups, a lot. I really like him a lot. He’s really well-liked by all the players and the coaches in the organization.

“He’s a pro. You feel great for somebody like that that’s really put their time in, that’s rode the buses, the early morning flights in Triple-A. To call yourself a big leaguer, that’s a special moment.”

Flaa learned the news on Monday morning when Norfolk manager Gary Kendall called to congratulate him.

“I thought he was messing around with me,” Flaa said. “I asked if he was serious, and he said, ‘obviously, I wouldn’t joke around about that.’ It was a pretty big shock to me.”

Flaa said “it was the feeling of a lot of hard work coming to fruition and seeing all the work that I put in this offseason and trying to reinvent myself as a pitcher. In their eyes, they started to recognize me, so for me, that was everything.”

Flaa worked on increasing his velocity during the offseason and “just cleaning some things up as a pitcher, mechanically, mentally, everything like that. In spring training, it was really important to hit the ground running as far as how I was feeling in the offseason. I think that showed in their eyes, I was somebody that was a different pitcher than in years past.”

It’s likely there will be lots of movement among pitchers this season.

“As an organization, we’re going to use a lot of pitchers this year,” Hyde said. “Look around, and it’s pretty much league-wide right now, a lot of pitching transactions, just to stay fresh. Right now, a lot of these guys have pitched quite a bit this past week. To get a fresh arm up here was important. You’ll see a lot of pitching from Triple-A. It’s just going to be that kind of year.”

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

 

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    April 26, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    What have you done for me lately? Oh, you mean last night…not surprised…go O’s…

    • ClayDal

      April 26, 2021 at 6:11 pm

      Not all bad for Lowther. He probably has a split contract, so he makes more money when he’s on the major league roster than the minors. Since the Orioles optioned him today instead of after yesterday’s game, he gets 2 days major league pay instead of 1. So the Orioles aren’t totally cheap. And he’ll be back

    • CalsPals

      April 26, 2021 at 6:15 pm

      Agree with he’ll be back, totally cheap, ehhh…go O’s…

  2. CalsPals

    April 26, 2021 at 7:04 pm

    Who dresses the O’s announcers? Do they know their colors are orange & black, what they’re wearing would be great for a ravens game, this isn’t a ravens game, details, details, details…WTH….go O’s…

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    April 26, 2021 at 9:42 pm

    Took a month off and I hardly recognize the site anymore.

    Whatever happened to Pajama boy? I was wondering what he thought of Urias now? Got stats?

    Go Os … Drink Pepsi

    • Phil770

      April 26, 2021 at 10:30 pm

      Welcome back!

    • CalsPals

      April 27, 2021 at 7:23 am

      He’s had a bunch of new names, don’t jinx us, great to have you back:)…go O’s…

  4. Hallbe62

    April 26, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    Nice win tonight Birds !

  5. Bhoffman1

    April 26, 2021 at 10:10 pm

    Great win tonight but why would you call up a prospect for one inning make him feel he belongs here and send him down the next day. Hyde is a total yes man says one thing one day then goes back on what he said the next day. He’s here for that reason obviously and the guy on this site that agrees with everything must be his twin

    • ClayDal

      April 26, 2021 at 10:24 pm

      Lowther wasn’t going to be available tonight after throwing 18 pitches yesterday. Since he was going to be sent back on Wednesday anyway to make room for Kremer, made sense to send him back to Bowie and bring a fresh arm to Baltimore. Lowther will be back.

    • Phil770

      April 26, 2021 at 10:38 pm

      Agree with BHoff. Hyde a double talker, for sure.

    • ClayDal

      April 26, 2021 at 11:00 pm

      For one thing, Hyde doesn’t make the roster decisions, that’s on Elias. Lowther was only called up because they needed an extra arm out of the bullpen for Sunday’s game. He only got in the game because the Orioles had a 7 run lead, otherwise Valdez would have come in. Lowther was only going to be up here temporarily. His future is as a starter which he will be doing when the minor league season starts. Flaa will be up here until Tuesday and go back down when Kremer is called up to pitch Wednesday. I’m sure that this was all explained to Lowther and he understands. He isn’t being punished, they just needed another arm in the bullpen in case Harvey got knocked out early. If all goes well tomorrow, Flaa probably doesn’t even get into a game.

    • Bhoffman1

      April 26, 2021 at 11:41 pm

      If that’s the case and you seem to know it all even what they say to the players when they call them up why doesn’t Hyde present it to the press that way instead of all his BS

    • ClayDal

      April 27, 2021 at 12:04 am

      If you read Hyde’s quote, he said Lowther pitched well and will be back soon. How is that BS? Lowther was brought up for a specific reason. He fulfilled the task and now they are bringing up Flaa to do a similar task. The plan for Lowther is that he is a starter and will start at Norfolk in a week. Because the bullpen was taxed over 2 nights, the Orioles needed an extra arm out of the bullpen. If Lowther hadn’t pitched yesterday, he probably hangs around another day or so until Kremer comes back. Lowther was probably happy to get 2 days pay at MLB salary.Hyde has been transparent, I haven’t seen any double talk

  6. dlgruber1

    April 26, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Valdez has been amazing. Against a Yankees team that has ALWAYS really been great at making pitchers throw a ton of pitches, he faced 4 batters and threw a total of 9 pitches, 8 for strikes and that included a punch out.

    • CalsPals

      April 27, 2021 at 9:46 am

      He’s doing great, just makes me nervous every time he comes in…go O’s…

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