Orioles bring back relief pitcher Ayala to improve bullpen depth

March 20, 2014 | WNST Staff

The Orioles took a step toward improving their bullpen depth Thursday by coming to terms on an agreement with relief pitcher Luis Ayala.

The move comes a day after the veteran right-hander was released by the Washington Nationals, but the details of the contract remained unclear as of Thursday afternoon. Ayala has struggled mightily this spring, posting a 13.50 ERA in six innings of work.

A member of the 2012 bullpen that was an integral part of the Orioles’ first postseason berth in 15 years, Ayala went 5-5 with a 2.64 earned run average in 66 appearances in his only full season in Baltimore. The 36-year-old was dealt to Atlanta at the beginning of last season and posted a 2.90 ERA in 37 appearances for the Braves.

Ayala missed over two months of action last season while dealing with an anxiety disorder but rebounded to eventually pitch for the Braves in the National League Division Series.

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