Randy Wolf is here and will be activated tonight for the Orioles and used as a left-handed reliever. Wolf has made only five relief appearances in 371 Major League games – allowing six runs and 10 hits, and striking out 11 in nine innings – but he will be used out of the bullpen as a second lefty to Brian Matusz.
A 14-year veteran, Wolf is 3-10 with a 5.69 ERA in 24 starts this season, the final year of a three-year, $29.75 million contract he signed with Milwaukee during the 2009 Winter Meetings. Here’s what Wolf, who was released by the Brewers last week, had to say.
[on adjusting to a relief role]
“I did it once in Milwaukee this year. It’s different, but I think it’s exciting. I knew that was going to be the role going into it. A big part of my decision was coming here and helping the team, which I think has a great chance of winning. Being in the playoffs the past two out of three years, I realized that’s what it’s all about, to play September baseball when it actually means something and every game’s important. No matter what the role is, that’s exciting.
[on the Yankees and being in the American League for the first time in his career]
“I faced this team before. I faced a few of the hitters in the Yankees lineup. I don’t think it’s totally absent there. Plus, the way technology is right now, you can get video of everything. Not that you get everything out of video, but you can learn a lot.”
[on the adjustments in becomng a bullpen pitcher]
“Literally, you always have to be ready. I think the hardest adjustment for me is the physical routine that I go through every day. As a starter, I come to the park and I know this is my long run day, this is my lift day, this is whatever I do for my shoulder. As a reliever, if you haven’t pitched in a while, you have to be ready to pitch every day. Obviously, there are times when, if you pitch two or three innings, you know you’re not going to pitch that day and you can do a bigger workout. It’s definitely a change to the routine, but you have to be ready for that.”
[on choosing to come to O's]
“That’s one of the most exciting things about it, to have that opportunity to help out a team in that situation. This is one of the teams that’s the best team that nobody is talking about. In the mass media, you don’t hear much about the Orioles. It’s an exciting team. They’re finding ways to win every day. It’s pretty exciting to see a team that…it’s hard to really put your finger on what it is that makes them win, but as long as they win, that’s all that matters.”
[on the decision to sign with Baltimore]
“It came up pretty quickly. It was between a few teams and I kind of knew that Kranny liked his experience in Baltimore. But the biggest decision for me as just going to a team that had a chance to win.”
[on his season not going the way he planned] I hope not. What am I masochist? [laughs.}
“This has been the most frustrating year of my career because I look at I’m probably throwing a slight bit harder than I was last year, I feel better physically than I did last year. And I know my stuff isn’t that much different. I think my location hasn’t been as good. It’s been a nightmare year, no doubt. To me, I like at going to Baltimore and going to a new team as maybe a silver lining in a nightmarish year. It’s exciting to go to a new team and kind of have a rebirth and try to help out in a new role. I just talked to Rick and I told him however you need me to help out, I’m ready to do whatever you need me to do.”