Wright has struggled through his first three starts at Triple-A Norfolk, allowing 10 earned runs on 17 hits and six walks over 11.2 innings (7.71 ERA and 1.97 WHIP).
During spring training, he was an option to temporarily fill a void in the Orioles' starting rotation, but Wright has fallen a long way in a short time. He's yet to make it out of the fifth frame in any of his three outings so far, while opposing hitters have racked up a .327 batting average against the right-hander. The O's third-round pick in 2011, Wright has failed to foot the bill over six professional seasons. At 27 years old, he'll need to figure it out fast, because his window of opportunity won't be open for much longer without a vast improvement.
Wright was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday, the Baltimore Sun's Jon Meoli reports.
This was the most likely scenario, as the Orioles don't necessarily need to break camp with a fifth stater in place of the injured Chris Tillman, given the way the schedule shakes out, and Wright wasn't even necessarily in the lead for that role. He will continue to work on a more over-the-top delivery at Triple-A, and could get a call as a spot starter later this season.
Wright has been working to adjust his arm slot to throw more over the top and create more break on his pitches, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports.
Wright's current arm slot is lower three-quarters which can sometimes lead to spinning the ball rather than getting the desired break on pitches. He is one of the remaining options to fill the shoes of starter Chris Tillman (shoulder) in the Opening Day rotation. The team prefers not to bounce the right-hander between the bullpen and the rotation like it has over the past two seasons. However, with major adjustments in the works, Wright could begin the year honing his adjustments at Triple-A Norfolk.
Wright pitched two innings, allowing two runs on two hits and struck out one in Tuesday's game against the Phillies.
Manager Buck Showalter said prior to the game that he was excited to evaluate the 27-year-old. "I'm looking forward to seeing Mike today," Showalter said. "Mike's in a really good place." Hours later, the skipper watched Wright give up a two-run blast to Tommy Joseph in the second inning, but Wright said he was satisfied with how he threw. "You know, I gave up those two runs, but I threw a lot of good pitches, and I'm really happy with some of the pitches I threw," Wright said. "That pitch, I wish I could have back, but I'm really happy with the progression I've made as far as mindset and going out there and executing pitches." Wright is competing with fellow righties Logan Verrett and Tyler Wilson, as well as left-hander Vidal Nuno for one of the final spots in the Orioles' bullpen. Each of the three can start and relieve and has minor league options remaining.
Wright is a candidate to temporarily replace Chris Tillman (shoulder) in the team's rotation to open 2017, SB Nation reports.
Initial reports suggest Tillman won't be on the shelf long, but any opportunity is a good one for Wright, who struggled in 2016. The 27-year-old right-hander went 3-4 with a 5.79 ERA in 18 appearances (including 12 starts) during his sophomore season. He'll compete with Tyler Wilson and T.J. McFarland for the vacancy in the Orioles' rotation.
|10/4/2016 vs Toronto|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 23 |
| 24 |
| 25 |
| 26 |
| 27 || 28 |
| 30 |
| 1 |
| 2 |
| 3 |
| 4 |
| 5 |
|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|