Bowie right-hander Dave Crouthers may have received a bit of a confidence boost in the last 10 days, seeing former teammate and fellow starter Daniel Cabrera get called up to Baltimore and win his first two games with the Orioles.
In his last two appearances, Crouthers has thrown 141/3 innings, allowing only four hits and one run, picking up consecutive wins himself and improving his record to 3-1, while lowering his ERA to 2.70.
"It gives me a lot of confidence to see what Cabrera is doing up there [in Baltimore]," said the 24-year old Crouthers. "When you play with a guy and you know what they can do, it makes you feel like you can go up there and do well."
In his last start, Wednesday against Akron, Crouthers pitched seven innings of one-hit baseball while striking out eight. He allowed two batters to reach in each of the first two innings before retiring the next 16 hitters.
With the departures of Cabrera to the Orioles and another former starter, John Maine, to class AAA Ottawa, Crouthers finds himself at the front of the Baysox rotation.
The spotlight is nothing new for the Edwardsville, Ill., native. In 2001, his final year at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, Crouthers was named Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year and a first-team all-conference player primarily for his work as an outfielder. In that same season he was also named to the all-conference second team as a pitcher.
"The only part I really miss [about playing outfield] is playing every day," said Crouthers. "But sometimes I enjoy the days off that I get being a pitcher."
For the remainder of the season, Crouthers just hopes to maintain the high level he has shown in his last two starts and make his own ascent through the Orioles' organization.
"I need to stay consistent," said Crouthers. "I had two quality starts in a row, but I know it's going to take more than just two starts."