Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Oriole #1032- Richard Bleier

Unbelievably, I'm almost caught up on Orioles debuts. And I've been enjoying writing about the O's enough that I might consider also doing some posts about the autographs that I've been getting at minor league games, and/or doing posts on past Orioles autographs that I've never really written about. Time will tell, but I'm legitimately happy to almost be up-to-date with the 2017 players.

Richard Bleier made his Orioles debut on May 3rd against the Red Sox. It was an odd debut due to the fact that it came in the second inning after that day's starter, Kevin Gausman, had been ejected by an overzealous umpire who was caught up in the Orioles-Red Sox feud of 2017. Gausman was ejected for hitting a Sawx player in the hip with a 70 some mile an hour curveball, while the Sawx starter from the night before, Chris Sale, hadn't been ejected for throwing almost 100 mph behind Manny Machado. But I digress...

Bleier pitched four innings in that game and only allowed one earned run and five hits. He kept the Orioles in the game for the most part after the strange ejection, so that's about all you can ask for in that situation. He made his second Orioles appearance in Sunday's game against the Royals, once again in relief of Gausman, and allowed two runs over two innings and took the loss. In last night's game against the Tigers, he earned his first MLB win as he successfully navigated the last 1.2 innings of the 13 inning drawn out, back-and-forth affair. He was the last available member of the Orioles 'pen, but he held strong to earn the W. So far, over three games pitched, his ERA sits at 3.52 and he is yet another member of the Orioles-Tides relief pitchers roster carousel.

Between my dad and I, we managed to get five autographs of Bleier's over our time in Sarasota, including the personalized Old Man Card which is heading for my collection. He seemed like a pretty down-to-earth guy, but that's more typically true of players like him who have to scratch and claw their way to the Majors.

The Rangers drafted him in the 6th round of the 2008 draft, and he pitched parts of nine minor league seasons before making his debut with the Yankees in 2016 as a 29 year-old rookie. Now that's some perseverance! He had success in New York, and had a 1.96 ERA over 23 games before he was traded to the Orioles on February 21, 2017 for a player to be named later or cash.

Good luck in Baltimore Richard!


zman40 said...

I couldn't figure out why that name sounded familiar until I saw the '08 Bowman card. Turns out I got him to sign that card in AA in 2010. That seems like a lifetime ago.

Surprisingly, his signature hasn't gotten any worse since then.

Orioles Magic said...

I had no idea Bleier had been around so long until I was shopping for his cards. Normally guys wash out before that amount of time but good for him for making it!