The Orioles have designated right-hander Oliver Drake for assignment, the team announced on Thursday. The move clears a spot on the roster for 25-year-old right-hander Stefan Crichton, whose contract has been selected from Triple-A Norfolk.
Drake, 30, has appeared in parts of the the 2015-17 seasons for the Orioles, logging a collective 3.89 ERA with 10.0 K/9 against 4.6 BB/9 in 37 innings as a Major League reliever. The Naval Academy product has generated grounders at a 50.5 percent clip to this point in his big league career and averaged 90.6 mph on his fastball, though it’s perhaps worth noting that he’s averaged 91.8 mph in this season’s very brief sample (3 1/3 innings of relief across three appearances). Drake is out of minor league options, so any club that claims him off waivers would have to add him directly to its 25-man roster.
As for Crichton, the former 23rd-rounder is only 4 2/3 innings into his first taste of Triple-A action, but he’ll quickly jump to the Majors. The righty posted a 3.73 ERA in 72 1/3 innings with Double-A Bowie last year and has fairly consistently posted mid-3.00s ERA marks with solid control throughout his minor league tenure. He owns a career 3.58 earned run average with 7.8 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 and a 57.2 percent ground-ball rate across 223 2/3 innings of work since being drafted in 2013. MLB.com rates him as the organization’s No. 30 prospect, praising his 94-96 mph fastball and the sink he can generate on the pitch.