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February 7, 2011

Orioles sign Riske to minor league deal

The Orioles have added another big league veteran to their bullpen competition by signing reliever David Riske to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.

The 34-year-old right-hander was 0-0 with a 5.01 ERA in 23 games with the Milwaukee Brewers last season before being released in August. He had elbow ligament-reconstruction (Tommy John) surgery in June 2009, after pitching just one inning that season. Riske rehabilitated for the first part of 2010 in the minors, compiling a 5.54 ERA in 11 total games at Triple-A Nashville and Single-A Brevard County.

Riske has pitched for five big league teams in 11 seasons, going 20-20 with a 3.67 ERA in 462 games, all in relief. His best season was 2003, when he had a 2.28 ERA and eight saves in 68 games for the Cleveland Indians.

A 56th-round draft pick of the Indians' in 1996, Riske is a former teammate and close friend of Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie.

-- Dan Connolly

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Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 4:47 PM | | Comments (15)


This looks like a low risk kind of signing.

You know, I was just thinking to myself how we could use a 56th round draft pick, 34-year-old pitcher from the 1990s with zero wins and a 5.01 ERA last season to go along with his reconstructive surgery,

And whattaya know - ** poof ** - there he is, just like that......

David Riske? Whatta fleabag!


That's Hilarious!!!!


Any of players at the Complex yet? When do you and the guys head south...Friday? And who amongst y'all has the best set of clubs, Pete maybe? Do you guys ever partner up with the Pitchers in the afternoons, no chance the Sun is okay with that as work time huh...

Jeff Z's reply: Yes Paulie, there are several players at the complex, including the trio of Jim Johnson, Matt Wieters and Brian Roberts, who have been working out together in Sarasota. Felix Pie also has been working out in nearby Bradenton. Unfortunately, Schmuck and I aren't getting down to Sarasota until Sunday but that will give us plenty of time. I don't golf. While I enjoy the sport, I'm the least patient person alive so golf doesn't suit me. I did go on a golf trip to the Poconos about 18 years ago, and one of my friends hit a hole-in-one. It was pretty cool because it was a regulation course, not a pitch-and-putt.

Sounds Risky to me!

What is it about the Internet, blogs, and comments that turns everyone into comedians and pun-artists?

This name is a blast from the past. This guy had a huge fastball while he was in Cleveland. He blew out his arm a little, but it's intriguing to see him still pitching. Under the right circumstances, if an opportunity presents itself, I can see Showalter using him in critical one or two out situations, and build up his stats. From what little we saw last year, I have pretty good faith that Showalter has a knack of managing the bullpen.

Jeff Z's reply: I've always wondered why people get so worked up about guys the O's have signed to minor league deals. What's the harm? The guy doesn't pitch well and he either starts the season in the minors or gets released. You need these signings to fill our minor league rosters and create depth. Plus, Riske has had some success. To me, there's absolutely zero risk, and zero reason to get annoyed by a signing like this.

Okay, the guy's not very good. But before you rip the O's for signing him, pause to remember that we need to put 150 players in uniform every day for six months. That's bound to include some pretty forgettable names.

Fang - funniest post I've read in a long time!

Hey I actually like this signing. Some of these Tommy John guys take a couple of years to get back to full steam. And his 3.67 major league E.R.A. isn't that shabby, especially when it includes last year and the year he blew his elbow out. With mostly the dregs left, he's a guy with a shot at turning into something. Or not. But there's a possible upside.

I'm with you, Eddie. You think NJ Boy is the first person to use that pun? But I bet NJ Boy thinks he is.

Not every signing can be Ruth, Mantle, or Mays. The minors have to be staffed, too, ya know, and a guy like Riske is just one of many who get signed to these types of deals. I'm glad the Orioles keep signing guys, regardless of who they are or what they might have or have not done.

Hey Jeff, How does Damon"the bulldog" Yaffe feel about this signing? I value his opinion because he is a coach ya know. Also where does Anita Marks weigh in on this? She posed in ... Playboy so that gives her opinion much credibility.

At the major league level last season he had a great June an okay July and he should have stayed home in August.. His stats took the biggest hit his last 4 games when he gave up 10 plus runs in 4 plus innings. He pitched well in the 7th inning, showing an era of 2.61 in 10 innings of work. He seemed to pitch better when he pitched more often.

Riske, and some of the other "marginal" big league pitchers signed recently is an understanding that it is a 6 month season and you never have enough ML arms. Would some of the idiots responding prefer inexperienced minor leaguers if the O's are fighting for a playoff spot in Aug/Sep? Last time I checked Cliff Lee and A. Soriano aren't available.

Extremely intelligent signing. When healthy, he’s been one of the best middle relievers in baseball. The whole Milwaukee experience was directly related to Mike Maddux and Ned Yost attempting to turn him into a curveball pitcher which his arm angle cannot hack. Its as simple as that and I would bet anybody that he’ll play the entire year in the big leagues. People drafted late in the draft have a lifelong chip on their shoulders because they’ve always been told they’re not good enough. Trust me when I say that Riske is good enough AND he’s hit the magical 18-month mark that coincides with Tommy John surgery last year he was at 12 months and made it all the way back to the big leagues. He wanted to earn his contract with Milwaukee but his body wouldn’t let him. He’ll be a factor for a big league team this year and if you’re an Orioles fan, you want him on your team.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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