Among the plethora of players in the Orioles’ minor league system who have made a statement this year, it’s possible none of them have been of the magnitude of Nick Vespi, a left-handed reliever for the Norfolk Tides.
His dominance has been so great, we as fans began to ask – What will come first, Vespi’s first earned run allowed on the year or a call-up to the majors?
Now, we have the answer to that question. And the answer is, a call-up came before his first earned run.
A former 18th round pick in the 2015 draft, it is one heck of a story for Vespi to make it to the majors in general. For him to make it the way he has is even more incredible.
Just this year alone, the long-haired left-hander has pitched 14.1 innings, good for 21 strikeouts to just three walks, zero earned runs and a 0.628 WHIP.
This success comes as no surprise, as Vespi was as good in 2021. He pitched to a 1.42 ERA in Double-A Bowie before some slight struggles in his first stint in Triple-A.
Vespi has found great success in a closer role with the Tides, recording four saves in 12 games so far this year. Although he won’t be the closer in this Orioles bullpen, the addition of Vespi certainly makes an already good bullpen even better.
On a logistical side, Vespi adds a left-handed arm to a bullpen that only features two other southpaws, Cionel Pérez and Keegan Akin.
This will allow Brandon Hyde to be a little more selective with his pitching options, especially considering Vespi’s success against left-handed batters in Triple-A. So far, he has not allowed a single hit to a left-handed Triple-A batter in 17 at-bats.
As announced on the Orioles Twitter account, the team has called-up right-hander Logan Gillaspie to the big league club.
Gillaspie, who was added to the 40-man roster prior to the MLB Lockout, has a 3.14 ERA in nine games between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk this season.
The 25-year-old is a product of Oxnard College, a two-year school located just northwest of Los Angeles. Undrafted out of the junior college, Gillaspie got his start in independent ball.
Vespi will wear No. 79, while Gillaspie will wear No. 71. Both of their first appearances will be their major league debuts.
To make room on the roster for Vespi and Gillaspie, left-hander Logan Allen has been designated for assignment, and infielder Rylan Bannon has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.
Welcome to The Show, Nick Vespi and Logan Gillaspie!
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