By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media December 17, 2012 6:54PM
Updated: December 17, 2012 10:07PM
As he spent the summer dominating Frontier League hitters for the Windy City ThunderBolts, Crestwood native Mike Recchia tried not to worry about whether he would get another chance at affiliated ball.
?Baseball?s supposed to be fun,? he said. ?I just wanted to have fun and not think too much about it. I tried to tell myself ?If it happens, it happens.? ?
Monday, it happened.
Recchia signed with the Baltimore Orioles and will report to their spring training. From there, he expects to join the Class-A Advanced Frederick Keys.
The Shepard alum spent 2010 and ?11 in the New York Yankees organization, going 6-4 with a 3.37 ERA before being released.
?It?s great to have a second opportunity,? he said. ?I?m going to go to spring training and work my butt off.?
Recchia is the second member of the 2012 T-Bolts to be signed by the Orioles, joining shortstop Chris Wade, who signed Dec. 7.
?I?m excited for Wade, and it?s good to have someone you?re comfortable with on and off the field going with you,? Recchia said.
Recchia went 11-3 with a 2.51 ERA for Windy City and won the Brian Tollberg Award as the league?s top pitcher. He set league records with 177 strikeouts and five complete-game shutouts.
?It was huge for my confidence,? he said. ?I was relieving exclusively with the Yankees then I come (to Windy City) and start and pitch (1501/3) innings and felt like I was getting stronger as the year went on. I realized there are people who do that who make millions and I showed that I can do that, too.?
Recchia hopes to follow in the footsteps of Dylan Axelrod and Andrew Werner, former T-Bolts pitchers who reached the majors.
?I?ve just got to keep performing the way I am and hopefully, I can be a dominant pitcher in the Orioles organization,? he said.