Right-hander Jair Jurrjens, who made the National League All-Star team two years ago with the Atlanta Braves, arrived in the Orioles clubhouse Friday afternoon to prepare for Saturday's start against the Tampa Bay Rays.
"This is where everyone wants to be,'' he said. "When you are playing professional ball everybody wants to play in the big leagues. I just happen to be back and am ready to help the team out."
Jurrjens will be the 10th starting pitcher used by the Orioles during the first six weeks of the 2013 season. The club opened with Jake Arrieta considered the No. 5 starter and has used Josh Stinson, Zack Britton, Steve Johnson and Freddy Garcia to either fill the fifth slot or make a spot start.
No one has stuck, though Garcia has taken the last three open turns. Jurrjens was 4-1 with a 3.14 ERA in eight starts for the Triple-A Norfolk Tides as he worked to establish to the satisfaction of the club that his repaired knee was sound to warrant putting him in the major league rotation. He will not be activated until until Saturday.
"I’ve been just trying to get my stuff back together and just keep working and trying to have fun again playing baseball,'' Jurrjens said. "I’ve been doing that and have been working hard to try and get better." If he can turn back the clock a couple of seasons, he would be a big help to a rotation that has skirted crisis over the past few weeks and could use a boost. Jurrjens won at least 13 games in three of the last five seasons for the Atlanta Braves and posted sub-3.00 ERAs in two of those seasons.
Instant rotation update: Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, who is on the disabled list with a blister on his thumb, threw a simulated game in the early afternoon on Friday.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times