Orioles Righthander Carter Baumler On Verge Of Pro Debut
The road back from Tommy John surgery has taken righthander Carter Baumler to bullpen sessions that eventually will lead him into his first professional game.
Baumler injured his left elbow in 2020 at the Orioles' instructional league, four months after his selection in the fifth round of the draft out of Dowling Catholic High in West Des Moines, Iowa.
His workouts and throwing progression culminated in a successful first side session on Feb. 28 at the team's spring training complex in Sarasota, Fla.
“Carter Baumler is an advanced high school kid,” Orioles farm director Matt Blood said. “Really good athlete, delivery, demeanor and above-average stuff.”
The 20-year-old Baumler is eager to finally use his arsenal against live competition.
“The TJ rehab process is tough for anybody and is something you definitely can’t prepare for," Baumler said. "The biggest part about it is just being patient, and that’s what I’ve tried to do. But I think it’s been a good thing for me, and I’ve learned a ton through the whole process.”
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Baumler was the only pitcher selected by the Orioles in the abbreviated, five-round draft. He signed for $1.5 million.
The organization liked his athleticism and quick arm. His fastball velocity ticked up to 92-94 mph in high school and his curveball with its 11-to-5 shape projected as a future plus pitch. His changeup showed improvement, as well.
The sharpness should return with more repetitions.
“With how the throwing program went, we took pretty much like two weeks on each pitch,” Baumler said. “I take two weeks to throw my changeup, two weeks to throw my curveball and pretty much like four or five months to throw my fastball.
"I think with stuff, I don’t have a problem there. I know where I need to be and I’ll have plenty of time in a throwing program before spring training to get my stuff down."
— The Orioles signed righthander Wes Robertson to a minor league contract. Robertson, who attended Washington College in Chestertown, Md., owns a 5.70 ERA and 1.63 WHIP in 63 appearances over four seasons in the Rangers and Reds systems.
— Lefthander D.L. Hall can’t report to spring training until the lockout ends because he's a member of the 40-man roster, but he’s throwing off a mound again after a stress reaction in his left elbow limited him to seven starts at Double-A Bowie. Hall, the 21st overall pick in the 2017 draft, posted a 3.13 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP and struck out 56 batters in 31.2 innings in 2021.