After five years in the minor leagues, former Pitt pitcher Matt Wotherspoon was called up to the majors by the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday afternoon. The team announced that he would replace relief pitcher Pedro Araujo, who was designated for assignment.
Shortly after his call-up, Wotherspoon suited up for the AL East club and made his MLB debut in Toronto, where he threw for two innings as a reliever and gave up three runs.
Wotherspoon played at Pitt from 2011 to 2014, finishing with a career ERA of 4.24 and ranking third in program history in wins, with 23, and strikeouts, with 250. He was then selected in the 34th round of the 2014 MLB draft by the New York Yankees, and after rising through the ranks of that organization, he was traded to Baltimore in 2017 for signing bonus money.
”I couldn’t be happier for Matt,” Pitt pitching coach Jerry Oakes said in a release from the university. “It’s every ballplayer’s dream to make it to the big leagues, and all of his hard work has finally paid off. He was a tough competitor on the mound for us at Pitt, and he’s taken that tenacity and fight to a new level with the Orioles. Baltimore is lucky to have him, and I’m confident that he will be a great asset for the organization.”
The righty spent the 2018 season with the the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate, the Norfolk Tides, and during that time, he appeared in 39 games, making 12 starts and pitching to a 4.60 ERA. However, he also struck out 105 batters over 94.0 innings, and that was apparently enough to pique the Orioles’ interest.
With the call-up, Wotherspoon becomes one of two Pitt players plying their trade in the majors, as Kevan Smith is currently serving as a catcher with the Los Angeles Angels. However, Wotherspoon may not remain with the team long, as Orioles pitcher Alex Cobb is set to come off the injured list and start in Baltimore's home opener on Thursday, meaning a player will need to be optioned.