Mike Wright's Wednesday outing against the Red Sox was bad enough that it's earned him at least a temporary exile to the wilds of Norfolk, Virginia. The Orioles optioned Wright to Triple-A on Thursday afternoon to give them a free roster space to fortify their bullpen.
Replacing Wright on the 25-man roster is lefty reliever Brian Duensing, who began the year in the Royals minor leagues, ended up in Norfolk, and was approaching the opt out in his contract.
Duensing, 33, is a seven year veteran of MLB. Prior to this year, he exclusively pitched for the Twins. The last three of those years have seen him as a bullpen arm.
If you're thinking, "Well, he's got to be better than Brian Matusz," know that this is not necessarily the case. In 2015, Duensing pitched 48.2 innings over 55 games and ended up with a 4.25 ERA. He was worse facing lefties than righties that season, allowing lefties to hit .288/.413/.364 off of him.
That's how a guy ends up having to settle for minor league contracts. But the Orioles are in need of someone to attempt to be a lefty specialist, what with T.J. McFarland seeming to represent a second long man. It's bad enough that this phrase has to be uttered, but that's another story entirely.
So, Duensing. Here he is. Don't expect much from him and you won't be disappointed. Whether he stinks or not, he may not be here long, depending on what the Orioles decide to do when Wright's turn in the rotation comes around again on Monday.
The Orioles don't have an off day again until June 13. They will not be able to get away with a four man rotation for any length of time, unlike the Red Sox, who demoted Joe Kelly last night and appear to be able to get away with a short-handed rotation for two weeks.