BALTIMORE — Earlier this month, it looked like 49-year-old pitcher Jamie Moyer would pitch for the Orioles for the first time in 17 years.
Instead, the experiment ended at Triple-A Norfolk after the left-hander asked for and was granted his release on Saturday. The Orioles were hoping Moyer would agree to remain in Triple A a little longer, especially since the club doesn’t need a fifth starter again until next Saturday.
Moyer went 1-1 with a 1.69 earned run average over three starts that covered 16 innings. He struck out 16 without walking a single batter over the three outings.
“He pitched pretty well down there in a short look, and we’re very appreciative of him for giving us that opportunity to look,” Showalter said. “I don’t think anybody would be surprised if he didn’t pitch effectively for somebody.”
With Chris Tillman pitching effectively and Zach Britton pitching better in his most recent outing, Moyer was viewed as a lesser option to help the Orioles. Showalter appreciated Moyer’s work and wanted to offer him the professional respect and courtesy he deserved after agreeing to what was essentially a three-start tryout in which the organization would evaluate him.
In 10 starts made for the Colorado Rockies earlier this season, Moyer was 2-5 with a 5.70 ERA and allowed 11 home runs. He was released on June 4 before being signed to a minor-league deal two days later by Baltimore.
As for other veterans in the Orioles’ minor league system, left-handed reliever J.C. Romero also has an opt-out clause and the organization will have to make a decision by the All-Star Break. Though currently away from Triple-A Norfolk to deal with a personal matter, the 36-year-old Romero has pitched 10 1/3 scoreless innings over 13 appearances for the Tides.
Veteran third baseman Miguel Tejada does not have an opt-out clause, however, and is hitting .248 with no home runs and 17 runs batted in over 121 at-bats for Norfolk. The 38-year-old infielder has just two extra-base hits, both of them doubles.
Left-handed starter Dontrelle Willis was also activated by Norfolk on Saturday and will presumably assume Moyer’s spot in the starting rotation.
Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear more from Buck Showalter about Moyer’s release and other items prior to the second of a three-game series against the Nationals.