BALTIMORE –- Mike Wright was getting ready to start a game for Norfolk on Tuesday afternoon when he was told to stop his preparations.
Later that evening, he was told to drive to Baltimore to join the Orioles.
Instead of starting as he was with the Tides, Wright will go to the bullpen.
“It’s exciting. I’m here. It doesn’t matter where I’m pitching from, it’s going to be really fun. I pitched for two years out of the bullpen in college, so it’s going to be like riding the bike, I’ll get back into it,” Wright said.
With Norfolk, Wright is 3-0 with a 2.64 ERA in six starts. A year ago, the 2012 organizational pitcher of the year struggled to a 5-11 record with a 4.62 ERA, though he improved later in the year.
“I was just trying to ride the mentality I had the end of last season. I tried to use that this spring training and use it at the beginning of the season this year. So far, it’s worked, and I hope it continues,” Wright said.
During spring training, manager Buck Showalter had him work out of the bullpen as well as giving him a start against Toronto in preparation for a possible recall.
“Spring training, I did it the whole time I was there, all three years I was there in camp. The warming up part and coming in in the middle of the inning should be all right,” Wright said.
Showalter liked that Wright could pitch multiple innings if needed. He could also serve as an emergency starter.
“There’s a lot of good options down there. Between there and Bowie, I’m excited about the way everybody is pitching,” Showalter said.
Showalter wouldn’t commit to how long Wright would be with the Orioles.
“It could be a short time. It could be a long time,” Showalter said.
“I’m excited about it. We felt like he would be here at some point. He’s another one that we think’s got a bright future for us.”
Wright’s parents and girlfriend were among his guests for Wednesday’s game.
“It’s exciting. It’s really exciting. It’s what I’ve dreamed of my whole life. To be here and to have this chance, it’s amazing,” Wright said. “I don’t get too nervous on the baseball field ever. I’ve also never been in the big leagues.”