In my last post about Oriole #1014, Odrisamer Despaigne, I mentioned that I was skipping Oriole #1013 since I didn't have an autograph of his yet. Oh what a difference a few days makes; within a span of about 24 hours, I got Brian Duensing to sign two cards for me at an O's game as well as receiving a third autograph of his via a trade. So now, I'm officially ready for my post about Oriole #1013, Brian Duensing.
I really got lucky to have Brian sign two cards for me at Saturday's game. We arrived at the game early as the gates opened and I headed directly to the field. I noticed that a lot of the pitchers were spread out in the outfield shagging fly balls as they do sometimes, and I started scanning for Brian. Luckily, he was in the right field corner, relatively close to where I was, and nearly as I got down to the field, Orioles BP ended and everyone started running off of the field. I called out his name and within about 4 minutes of being inside the stadium, I had the autographs I had come for, and my autograph experience was surprisingly easy for once. A lot of times over the years, I have spent hours chasing down autographs to get the same 2-3 players who have graciously signed for me many times over the years, so it was nice to have such a quick and productive effort.
Brian joined the Orioles organization in late May as a minor league free agent. He had been in the Royals system but had signed a deal with an opt-out date if he was not called up to the big league club. I'm quite sure that I read somewhere that his deal with the Orioles was a similar type of contract, but the Orioles obviously decided to bring him up to the big league squad instead of losing him. So on June 2nd, the O's selected his contract from AAA Norfolk.
Duensing has a lot of MLB experience, all of which came with the Twins from 2009-15. He pitched in 354 games for them, with a 41-37 record and a 4.13 ERA over that time and worked largely as a reliever, but did make 61 starts early in his career.
To date for the Orioles, he has pitched in seven games, and is more or less the lefty matchup reliever in the bullpen. Over 6.2 innings, he has a 5.40 ERA with three strikeouts while giving up nine hits and 2 walks. Hopefully that line will improve.
Since the vast majority of my autographing these days occurs during my trip to Spring Training, it's always mildly frustrating as players enter the Orioles organization after the start of the season. It happens every year and is a part of how rosters are constantly evolving, but I'm left scrambling as a player enters the Orioles system and is making their debut with the team in a matter of weeks. Thankfully, I was able to get a few of Duensing's autographs quickly, but it doesn't always work that way. Some players who have entered the organization mid-season (a-hem, Francisco Rodriguez), have been begrudgingly added to my need list and stayed there for years. Happily, I have a signed and personalized Old Man Card of Brian's to head right into my collection. As always, thanks for your help old man!
Good luck in Baltimore, Brian, And thanks for signing for me!