…over Mitch Atkins.  And Rick VandenHurk.  And Jo-Jo Reyes.

Okay, maybe that last one is a bit of a stretch.

The point is, Dana Eveland got the spot start for the Orioles last night with Jason Hammel being skipped for his start this week due to a sire right knee; and he performed just as a spot starter should.  His stat line of three earned runs over six innings is a bit deceiving considering he let up five hits, walked five, hit two batters, and only struck out three.  His changeup and curveball were hanging up in the zone all night, and his fastball was quite unimpressive in my opinion, topping out around 89-90 MPH.

But getting back to the subject at hand.

Those pitchers listed above all got spot starts with the Orioles in 2011 and all pitched to ERAs over six.  All of them were guys who, like Eveland, had iffy careers to begin with and barely got a chance to start for the Orioles, only due to injuries and the team’s lack of quality pitching.  This year, however, the Orioles have been fantastic pitching-wise, so when the team needed to reach down into the farm system and call up Eveland, there were actually options at hand.  Brad Bergesen, Chris Tillman, Jason Berken, and Joel Pineiro were all legitimate possibilities of being called up for the start.

Bergesen still hasn’t found his stride from 2009 after his knee injury, Tillman’s velocity is still down, Berken’s slider is flat, and Pineiro was only recently signed and is still being stretched out.  But still, the pitching options at AAA Norfolk are a significant upgrade over the availabilities last season.


Follow Avi Miller on Twitter @AviMillerBSR for up to the date Orioles news and daily farm system updates.