Liz, who started the season as a reliever, has been moved back into a starting role. He was 0-2 with 6.00 ERA in 15 appearances with the Tides. He displayed good control, walking just 10 batters in 36.0 innings while striking out 34. However, he was being hit hard. Opponents were batting .326 off the right-handed pitcher.
Baysox pitching coach Larry McCall was his pitching coach last year in Norfolk and he expects to see the same Liz he saw last year.
"His fastball is his best pitch," McCall said. "He's been throwing it up to 98 mph when he was here before. He did very well last year for me up there, worked up the changeup. His changeup was more like a [splitter] at 88 mph and was working on throwing his slider behind in the count last year and he did a very good job."
In 2007, Liz's full season with Bowie, he had a 3.22 ERA in 25 starts, throwing two complete games, including a no-hitter, but he did average 4.6 BB/9 IP. As for what fans can expect:
"I expect him to pitch well," McCall simply said.
To make room for Liz on the Baysox roster, the Orioles released right-handed reliever Ryan Keefer. Keefer struggled this year going 0-1 in 18 games with a 7.36 ERA. He did strike out 22 batters in 25.2 innings, but walked 29 batters.
Keefer had caught the honorary first-pitch for Baysox games while he was with the club every night. The Baysox will miss him in the clubhouse.
Keefer was a 13th round draft pick of the Orioles in 2000 and has played in parts of nine seasons within the Orioles organization, never making it higher than Double-A. He has a career 3.81 ERA in 595.2 innings pitched and struck out 530 minor league batters.
"[We lose a] quality person," McCall said of Keefer's release. "I had him four or five years ago when he was throwing really well and he just hurt his arm and never made it back to where he was before."