Teheran to make Orioles' debut this weekend; Wong hopes to provide 'veteran presence' - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Spring Training

Teheran to make Orioles’ debut this weekend; Wong hopes to provide ‘veteran presence’

Photo Credit: Dale Zanine USA TODAY Sports


SARASOTA, Florida—Julio Teheran spent about 15 minutes throwing a bullpen session on Thursday morning, and quickly showed he was eager to acclimate to the Orioles’ way of doing things.

During his session, Orioles assistant pitching coach Mitch Plassmeyer took an iPad and shared some information with Teheran, who, according to manager Brandon Hyde, will throw an inning or so in a Grapefruit League game this weekend. The Orioles signed the 33-year-old right-hander to a minor league contract on Wednesday.

Teheran is in good shape. He’s been in Miami throwing bullpen sessions to free-agent position players yet to sign.


Hyde said that the Orioles will look at Teheran first as a starter. After his outing this weekend, the Orioles will “fit him to either start games or piggyback, but we’re going to build him up as a starter for the rest of camp.”

Teheran threw in relief three times last season with Milwaukee, and it’s possible that the Orioles could use him as a bullpen option if he doesn’t make the team as a starter.

“I really like it,” Teheran said about relieving. “To be honest, at this point in my career, I don’t really complain about anything. I know that [whatever] some team needs you to do, you’ve got to be able to do that. That’s what my mentality is.”

Last season, Teheran was 3-5 with a 4.40 earned-run average in 14 games with the Brewers, and getting a team to sign him this offseason wasn’t easy.

“It was different. It was hard, but I don’t really complain about it,” Teheran said. “It’s getting harder and harder. Obviously, I was trying to stay ready for whenever one team needs me and I’m happy that the Orioles called me and, they wanted me to be part of it.”

Teheran is a veteran of 11 major league seasons and wasn’t convinced there was a chance for the 12th.

“When you’re really preparing for a season, and you don’t get anybody to call … it gets difficult,” Teheran said.

Teheran joins some familiar faces. He pitched with Milwaukee last season with Corbin Burnes, Thursday’s starter, and broke in with Atlanta with new Orioles closer Craig Kimbrel, who’ll pitch for the first time on Thursday. Bench coach Fredi González was Teheran’s manager from 2011-2016.

“His presence here, his maturity level is going to help,” González said. “As a young man when I had him, and watching his growth makes me happy, and it makes me happy that we brought him there.”

Teheran enjoyed reuniting with Kimbrel, who signed with the Orioles in December.

“It’s crazy. I was talking to Craig yesterday, and we got to the point where we asked, ‘what was the last point we got to play together’, and he said it was 10 years ago. We looked at each other like, ‘we’re getting old,’” Teheran said.

“It’s special to see guys you played with early in your career, and now you get to see them again. I got to play with Corbin, and it was really impressive to see him in our rotation. It’s good to see him here.”

Teheran’s resume is strong, two All-Star Games, six consecutive Opening Day starts, but now he has to prove he can still help a team. Last season, he returned to the major leagues after pitching the 2022 season in Mexico and for Staten Island in the independent Atlantic League.

“It was huge, obviously, to come back,” he said. “It was big to show myself that everything I did it worked out to come back to the league and especially to pitch the way that I did. That’s how it’s going to be. I feel like I can still pitch and get people out for many years.”

Wong getting acclimated

The Orioles also signed another 33-year-old veteran, second baseman Kolten Wong, to a minor league contract on Wednesday. Wong flew from his Arizona home to Sarasota, and Hyde said that he’ll give him a few days of batting practice before playing him in games.

“Obviously, a young team, a team that’s been playoff bound last year, an ability to come in and try to earn a job,” Wong said. “That’s all you can ask for in this situation. I’m excited, obviously, in talking with the guys and trying to figure out the situation. Seems like a good fit, so I’m excited.”

Like the top prospect in baseball, Jackson Holliday, who’s leading off and playing second base on Thursday, Wong is a left-handed hitter.

“I’m obviously a little bit of a veteran presence,” he said. “It’s a young team, but I’m the kind of guy that’s not trying to say too much. I just want to let the guys do their thing. If they need help, I’m here. Everybody knows my game. I’m not flashy, but I get the job done.”

Holliday’s father, longtime major league outfielder Matt, played with Wong on the St. Louis Cardinals, where Jackson was a regular presence in the clubhouse.

“It’s another guy that we brought into camp that’s played for a while and had some really good years. I’m excited to have him join us,” Hyde said.

Note: Ryan Mountcastle was scratched from the original lineup. Tyler Nevin will replace him at first base.

To Top