May 5, 2009
Bob McCrory got an unexpected birthday present this weekend when he learned he will get another opportunity to pitch in the major leagues.
The Baltimore Orioles recalled McCrory, 27, on Sunday, and he rejoined the team in Toronto on his birthday.
The right-handed pitcher replaces pitcher Dennis Sarfate on the roster. Sarfate was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 2 because of a circulatory problem. He experienced numbness in the middle finger of his throwing hand.
McCrory, a 2000 graduate of Columbus High School, was surprised he earned the promotion from Baltimore''s Triple-A affiliate Norfolk (Va.) instead of pitcher Matt Albers.
"It was a shock to me because we have a guy (Albers) in Triple-A who was in the big leagues all of last year and was there almost all of this year," McCrory said. "When Sarfate got hurt, I never really had an idea I''d be going up. I figured it would be (Albers) going back up."
Albers was sent to Norfolk after going 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA in eight games with Baltimore this season. He appeared in 28 games last season and was 3-3 with a 3.49 ERA.
The promotion is McCrory''s third with the Orioles. He was recalled twice last season and was 0-0 with a 15.63 ERA in eight games. In 6 1/3 innings, he allowed 10 hits and 12 runs (11 earned) to go with eight walks and five strikeouts.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound McCrory was recalled after going 0-0 with three saves and a 2.25 ERA in nine games at Norfolk this season. He pitched 12 innings and allowed 13 hits and three runs (all earned), while striking out five and walking two.
"I knew I had some things I needed to work on," McCrory said. "I worked hard in the offseason and in spring training and pretty much got myself ready to go.
"I had to clean up my delivery a lot. There were too many things going too many different directions in my delivery. I wasn''t being as consistent as I could be. I just worked on fine-tuning that a little. I think it''s helped me settle down a little on the mound. It''s helped me be a little more under control."
McCrory, who last pitched for Norfolk on Friday, was ready Sunday, but he didn''t get an opportunity as Jeremy Guthrie pitched a complete game in a 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays.
McCrory, who expects to be used in middle relief, hopes to make the most of his chance and pitch better than he did last season.
"You''ve got to throw strikes and you can''t get behind to these guys," McCrory said. "When I got behind in the count and they pretty much knew what was coming, that''s when I would get into trouble. It''s a little bit easier t hit when you know what''s coming. The biggest thing is for me to get ahead of people."
McCrory believes he''s ready for another opportunity after the work he put in during spring training and the success he had at Norfolk.
"I''ve just been comfortable on the mound this year," McCrory said. "In the past I struggled with my command. I adjusted my mechanics a little bit. I haven''t had any control problems. When you''re getting ahead of guys, it puts them in a tough situation to hit."