Jonathan Heasley gets a surprise call to the Orioles - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Jonathan Heasley gets a surprise call to the Orioles

Photo Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel USA TODAY Sports

BALTIMORE—Jonathan Heasley didn’t spend much time in Norfolk. The 27-year-old right-hander was a late cut this spring. His option to the Tides wasn’t announced until he pitched in the last Grapefruit League game.

A week later, he was recalled from Norfolk to replace left-handed relief pitcher Cionel Pérez, who’s on the 15-day injured list with a strained right oblique. Pérez was injured after facing just two batters on Saturday.

“I was still in the hotel down the road from the stadium,” Heasley said. “I had a ton of stuff in my truck.”

Heasley had a 4.15 earned-run average in eight spring training games, and now he gets a spot in the bullpen.

“I think I learned a lot about myself [in spring training],” Heasley said. “A lot about pitching in general. Putting together some ideas with a new organization. I think I was able to learn a lot and made some good progress throughout the spring.”

Heasley was acquired from Kansas City on December 18th, and was the last pitcher cut from the team in spring training. He has a 5-11 career record with a 5.45 ERA.

“Your goal is always to make the team out of camp,” he said. “It would have been cool to make my first Opening Day roster. At the same time, I’m very aware of the talent that’s in his organization. There’s a lot of depth and a lot of guys who earned their spots to be here as well. It’s one of those things where I feel like I did my part and controlled what I could control.

“At the end of the day, they made their decision, and I can live with knowing that I can put my best foot forward, and here I am with an opportunity a little bit faster than we may have expected, and I’m ready to go.”

It was the second bullpen move in as many days. Jacob Webb was removed from the paternity list, and left-hander Nick Vespi was optioned to Triple-A.

“I can honestly tell you I didn’t really expect to be called up two games into the year,” Heasley said. “I hadn’t even thrown in Triple-A. You’ve got to be ready at all times and, obviously, I’m incredibly excited for an opportunity to get my feet wet here and get out there and help the team out any way I can. It’s been an exciting transition over here, and I’m excited to get out on the field.”

Heasley might get an opportunity on Monday to pitch against his former team, the Royals (2021-23).

“Pretty crazy how this game works out,” Heasley said. “That’s a goal for sure. I still have some buddies over there, and that’s the team that gave me my first opportunity in the big leagues, so they’ll always have a special place in my heart, but once we get in between those lines, it will be ‘game on,’ and I’m excited to compete against those guys, for sure.”

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