Michael Ballard, 29, joins the Blue Crabs after going 1-5 in 12 games with the Washington Nationals Double-A affiliate the Harrisburg Senators of the Eastern League in 2012. In 64.2 innings pitched, the Norfolk, Va., native, struck out 56 batters and recorded a 4.31 ERA last season.
The 6’2”, 180-pound pitcher began his career in the Texas Rangers minor league organization in 2006, reaching as high as Triple-A with the Oklahoma City RedHawks of the Pacific Coast League during the 2008-10 seasons. Ballard then joined the Baltimore Orioles organization, where he pitched for the Oriole’s Double-A Bowie Baysox and Triple-A Norfolk Tides. In 55 appearances in Triple A, the right-hander went 12-17 with a 5.34 and striking out 150 batters.
Ballard was last drafted by the Rangers in the 14th round of the 2006 MLB June Amateur Draft from the University of Virginia.