Orioles Groom Bierd For Bullpen Role

New Orioles righthander Randor Bierd averaged 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings and 2.1 walks per nine last year between 22 innings in low Class A and 45 2/3 innings in Double-A. Baseball America correspondent Roch Kubtako talked to Orioles catcher Guillermo Quiroz about Bierd’s changeup.

"It’s a changeup. It’s just a really good one," he said. "Not many have that pitch. I’d say it’s a [Johan] Santana type of changeup. It’s that good. He can throw it anytime he wants, in every count, every situation. … His arm action’s the same when it’s a fastball, so it’s kind of tough to pick up. It has kind of the same rotation, but it dies at the end. It has like a split action, but it’s a changeup."

The Tigers left Bierd unprotected in December in the Rule 5 draft, and the Orioles grabbed him with the third pick. Given the current state of the Tigers’ relievers, Bierd certainly would have fit in nicely in Detroit’s bullpen this year.