Jurrjens, who was signed over the off-season as a non-roster invitee, will be making his first MLB start since July 22, 2012 – a day on which he pitched 2 1/3 innings for the Atlanta Braves, surrendering six earned runs to the Washington Nationals.
In eight starts with the Norfolk Tides – the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate – Jurrjens has managed a 4-1 record with a 3.14 ERA, pitching 51 2/3 innings and allowing 19 runs on 44 hits and 15 walks with 36 strikeouts.
“It’s feeling good,” Jurrjens said regarding his often-problematic right knee. The O’s changed the initial terms of the pitcher’s contract after some issued arose with Jurrjens’ physical.
“I haven’t really been paying attention to my velocity,” Jurrjens said. “I really cannot tell you how fast I am throwing. I’m just happy with the way I’ve been performing the last couple outings. I’m getting a lot of swings and misses again, and that’s a good sign. I’m just trying to repeat my delivery and keep being consistent and keep on getting innings.”
Jurrjens will be facing the Rays for the first time on Saturday, and he’ll have the opportunity to stick around a while thanks to Wei-Yin Chen’s oblique injury.
“If the command is there, he’ll give us a chance to win,” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. “It’s been a long journey for him. I’m sure tomorrow, I don’t know if anxiety’s the word. He’s done this before. I know a lot of people miss, I know I did originally, how young he is. This guy’s not like 31, trying to make a comeback. [He's] 26, 27 years old. We’ll see. I’m anxious to see.”