Thursday, November 1, 2012

Congratulations, Zach Clark!

Somewhat buried in yesterday's long-expected announcement by the Orioles about their exercising relief pitcher Luis Ayala's 2013 option while declining that of Mark Reynolds*, was the news that the Orioles were selecting the contract of long-time minor league pitcher, Zach Clark.

*Reynolds remains under team control since he is still arbitration eligible unless they decline to offer him arbitration. 

Zach was signed by the Orioles as an undrafted free agent out of nearby UMBC way back in 2006. He has slowly, yet consistently, worked his way through the O's farm system, and has appeared at every single minor league level, from the rookie Gulf Coast League all the way through the AAA International League. He has pitched most of the past five seasons for the AA Bowie Baysox, but was dominant in eight appearances with AAA Norfolk at the end of the 2012 season, and that was probably what made the O's decision to add him to their 40 man roster to protect him from the upcoming Rule 5 draft. The Orioles currently have 36 players on their 40 man, but also still have some players listed on the DL, so I would imagine they will make a few more moves prior to the early December Rule 5 selection process.

The O's also have an affinity for featuring local guys on the team and Zach grew up in nearby Wilmington, Delaware. So combined with his going to college in Baltimore County and his time in the Birds' farm system, he has now spent most of a decade in and around Baltimore.

Since Zach has spent so much time with Bowie, I would venture a guess and say that I probably have twice as many of his signed cards that are shown in this post. He has always been good about signing and I definitely have run out of his unsigned cards more than once.

Good luck Zach! I hope to see you pitching in Baltimore next season!

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