Joe Andrzejewski is getting a second chance, and he's getting it with the hometown team.
Andrzejewski, the former Chesapeake High School All-County pitcher who was released in January by the Milwaukee Brewers, signed a minor-league contract with the Baltimore Orioles yesterday.
"It's great to get a chance with the Orioles because I grew up here and I've always had a lot of respect for their organization," he said.
Orioles territorial supervisor Jim Gilbert recommended signing Andrzejewski after watching the right-hander throw at Memorial Stadium.
"Elrod (Hendricks, Orioles bullpen coach) liked him, and we got him near 90 (mph) on the radar gun the other day," said Gilbert. "Joe will probably end up with the Frederick Keys this summer, and that is high Class A ball. It's a good opportunity for him."
After signing out of high school in June 1988 as a third-round draft pick, Andrzejewski never got higher than Class A in four years in the Brewerssystem.
Having gotten over the initial shock of being released, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound pitcher is focused on fulfilling his dream of making it to the big leagues -- something many scouts projected for him as a 17-year-old senior at Chesapeake, before knee and elbow injuries sidetracked him.
"I'm 100 percent now," he said.