Dan Duquette never sleeps but he is ever dreaming of making the Orioles a better team. Even on a Saturday of the holiday weekend that unofficially kicks off summer, there he is making moves. He dreams of a better today and he dreams of a better tomorrow as well.
The move that the Orioles have made in hopes of a better today is recalling reliever Oliver Drake from Norfolk. Drake, a 6'4" right-hander who was originally a 43rd round draft pick by the Orioles back in 2008, has saved eight games for the Tides so far this year. The former Naval Academy product has struck out 30 batters in 18.2 innings against only four walks. He's given up a mere two earned runs. Yes, please.
You have to credit Duquette and his team for seeing something in Drake that had never really shown up in the box scores. Drake, 28, was a minor league free agent this past offseason and when the Orioles signed him to a major-league deal, meaning that he could still be optioned to the minors but would have a spot on the 40-man roster, it was a bit of a surprising move. At the time, he said that was necessary because other teams wanted Drake too. With what he's done for Norfolk so far this year, it's not hard to see why.
The Orioles being the Orioles, you never know how long a reliever with options will stick on the roster; they could have him in mind as a just in case guy for a day or a week. A good guess is that Tyler Wilson will be optioned since he pitched in Friday's game, has options, and the O's are looking for a fresh arm.
In a move with an eye more towards the future, Duquette brought another Cuban defector into the fold:
orioles and cuban left ariel miranda have a deal, pending physical— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) May 23, 2015
Miranda, 25, has gotten a minor league deal with the O's. The dollar amount was not immediately announced, but the tendency of the O's under Duquette has been to get these slightly older defectors for a modest amount of around $700,000 or less, plug them into the system, and see what happens. This has yet to bear any real fruit, with Henry Urrutia and Dariel Alvarez, a couple of outfielders, in the high minors but yet to really break into the big league picture. That doesn't mean it was a bad idea to try.
You can go ahead and hit the beach this weekend if you want. Duquette will hit the waiver wire.