Former Rays LHP Bierbrodt signs minor-league deal with Orioles
Former Rays lefty Nick Bierbrodt - whose career was interrupted by a 2002 shooting while on a minor-league assignment - has signed a minor-league deal with the Orioles.
Bierbrodt, 32, last pitched in the big leagues in July 2004 with Texas. He spent most of the time since then in the independent leagues, and also had a stint in the Chinese professional league. He made it back to the minor leagues last season in the Colorado system, going 1-1, 6.57 in 35 games at Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Colorado Springs. He is currently pitching, and well, in Guasave, Mexico, going 2-1, 2.32 in 38 games.
Bierbrodt was a promising member of the Rays rotation after being acquired in a July 2001 trade from Arizona, but his career was derailed by two odd incidents in 2002: First, he sustained a stunning loss of control during spring training, leading the Rays to send him to the minors. Then while on assignment to Class A Charleston (S.C.) he was shot twice in the chest while sitting in a taxi going through the drive-thru lane at a fast-food restaurant.
He made it back to pitch for the Rays the next season, but was placed on waivers and went to the Indians and then on to the Rangers.
With the Orioles, who train in Sarasota, Bierbrodt will be reunited with his former Arizona manager, Buck Showalter, and pitching coach, Mark Connor.