Until last year, Cole McCurry was just another late round starter foundering in the Orioles system when the then 24 year old added a pitch to his repertoire that, depending on who you ask, acts like a cutter or a slider. It was also during last season that McCurry was moved to the bullpen from the starting rotation. It seems as though the combination of the two occurences has had a positive effect on McCurry who has been rocketing through the system since. Settling in at Norfolk, McCurry finds himself at his third progressively higher stop in the O's system this season (though McCurry pitched only one game at Frederick this year).
McCurry is a left handed pitcher that was the 43rd pick by the O's in the 2007 draft. The Braves took a stab at McCurry in the 31st round of the 2005 draft following a stint at Surry Community College in Dobson, NC, but McCurry instead transferred to Tennessee Wesleyan University. Prior to his selection by the Orioles, McCurry was named Honorable Mention All American after striking out 89, walking 21 and allowing 5 home runs in 82.1 innings.
Between signing in 2007 and last season, McCurry pitched in 51 games at Delmarva and 14 at Aberdeen. As a 23 year old taking his third crack at the Sally League, McCurry had his best full season as a starter striking out 145 batters in 139.2 innings and logging a 1.17 WHIP. As it should be, you might say...and you'd be right. McCurry was finally promoted to Frederick in 2010 and his aggregate numbers are unimpressive, but something clearly clicked. At Bowie this year, being used exclusively in relief, McCurry posted a .95 WHIP, and allowed no home runs in 33.2 innings with a 3.7 BB/9 and 11.8 K/9. McCurry was promoted to Norfolk in June and got off to a rocky start. In his first few appearances, he struck out 4 batters and walked 7. He seems to have done some side work and since mid-July has notched 15 strikeouts against 6 walks.
While hardly a world beater, McCurry presents a viable, homegrown, cost-controlled option for a club that seems addicted to unreliable, expensive free agent relievers.