Tag Archive | "Baysox"

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Orioles call up hard-throwing Givens from Double-A Bowie

Posted on 20 June 2015 by Luke Jones

The Orioles made a series of roster moves prior to the second game of a three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon.

As expected, right-handed pitcher Kevin Gausman was activated from the 15-day disabled list to make his first start of the season, but the Orioles also added a fresh arm to their bullpen by selecting the contract of right-handed pitcher Mychal Givens from Double-A Bowie. Right-handed pitchers Mike Wright and Tyler Wilson were optioned to Triple-A Norfolk to make room on the 25-man roster.

Originally drafted as a shortstop in 2009, the 25-year-old Givens has impressed manager Buck Showalter and other members of the organization this year with a mid-90s fastball from a three-quarters arm slot that has led to a 1.60 ERA, 12 saves, and 54 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings. With Wilson having thrown 78 pitches in relief after Wright lasted just 1 1/3 innings on Friday night, Baltimore wanted more length in its bullpen against the highest-scoring offense in the major leagues.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Givens, the Orioles placed right-handed pitcher Jason Garcia (shoulder) on the 60-day disabled list.

With Wright turning in his worst performance of the season on Friday, it’s unclear when he will receive another opportunity in the Baltimore starting rotation. After pitching 14 1/3 scoreless innings in his first two major league starts last month, the 25-year-old right-hander has allowed 17 earned runs in 15 1/3 innings over his last four starts.

Meanwhile, Wilson continues to impress as he’s pitched to a 2.12 ERA in 17 innings for the Orioles this season.

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Wieters feeling good after first game of rehab assignment

Posted on 27 May 2015 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — After appearing in his first game at Double-A Bowie since 2008, Orioles catcher Matt Wieters felt good a day after beginning his much-awaited minor-league rehab assignment.

Eligible to be activated from the 15-day disabled list on June 4, Wieters went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and threw out a runner trying to steal second base in his first professional regular-season game since May 10, 2014. With the 29-year-old still only catching every other day, the Orioles hoped Wieters would feel good the morning after beginning his rehab stint.

“I felt good. I thought yesterday went well,” Wieters said. “I felt good when I woke up this morning. That’s the big thing. Hopefully, keep feeling like we did yesterday and we should be good to go.”

Wieters will once again catch for the Baysox on Thursday and Saturday before the Orioles then decide where he will continue his rehab assignment. Manager Buck Showalter said it was possible that Wieters could serve as the designated hitter at Bowie on days he wasn’t scheduled to catch, but the veteran suggested that he feels pretty good at the plate and took batting practice at Camden Yards before Wednesday’s game against Houston.

Barring any setbacks, Wieters is expected to be activated by the latter half of next week despite the fact that it will be a while before he’s ready to catch on consecutive days. With Caleb Joseph sporting a .274 average with four home runs and 18 RBIs entering Wednesday, the Orioles can live with the idea of Wieters not being ready to handle his normal workload.

With Wieters not even throwing on non-catching days yet, the Orioles may need to give stronger consideration to keeping a third catcher than most would have thought. That would figure to be Steve Clevenger, who would give the Orioles another left-handed bat off the bench and is capable of playing some infield in a pinch.

For now, Wieters can see the light at the end of the tunnel while acknowledging his return to the Orioles won’t be the end of his long recovery from Tommy John surgery.

“It’s all feel, and it’s going to be a slow process with it,” Wieters said. “I’ve sort of come to terms with that. It’s not going to come just like that — catching four, five days in a row. It’s all by feel. The ‘every other day’ thing feels good now, and as soon as that little bit of soreness that we do have in between [is gone], we’ll start by picking up a ball on the day after I catch and go from there.

“Every other day is better than not playing at all for me right now.”

Bundy MRI confirms tendinitis

Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said a magnetic resonance imaging exam on pitching prospect Dylan Bundy’s right shoulder confirmed the initial diagnosis of tendinitis.

Fortunately, there was no structural damage to the shoulder despite the MRI showing some inflammation. Duquette said Bundy has been prescribed rest as well as anti-inflammatory medication before the Orioles reevaluate when he’ll begin throwing again.

Bundy last pitched on May 21, a four-inning start that was his longest outing of the season as the organization was monitoring his innings in the early portion of the season. He is 0-3 with a 3.68 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 22 innings of work at Bowie.

Cuban left-hander Miranda signed

The Orioles officially announced the signing of Cuban left-handed pitcher Ariel Miranda on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old Miranda went 22-25 with a 3.78 ERA in seven seasons in the Cuban National Series. The plan is for him to report to Sarasota to get into better baseball shape before the organization assigns him to Bowie or Single-A Frederick, according to Duquette.

Wilson, Wright to start Thursday’s doubleheader

Showalter announced that right-hander Tyler Wilson will be called up as the Orioles’ 26th player for Thursday’s doubleheader and will start Game 1 against the Chicago White Sox.

Fellow rookie right-hander Mike Wright will start the nightcap of the single-admission twin bill beginning at 1:05 p.m.

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Berry’s strong start highlights Orioles minor league recap – 7/20

Posted on 20 July 2014 by WNST Staff

Here’s what happened down in the Orioles’ farm system Sunday…

-Pitcher Mike Wright was rocked (4.2IP, 6ER, 7H, 2BB) as the Triple A Norfolk Tides were crushed 14-2 by the Rochester Red Wings. Kelvin De La Cruz also allowed three earned runs over 2.1 innings in relief, third baseman Steve Lombardozzi went 2-4 with a double and run scored in the loss.

-Starter Tim Berry worked seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits and three walks as the AA Bowie Baysox blanked the Altoona Curve 3-0. Reliever Oliver Drake worked a scoreless ninth for his 23rd save of the season, right fielder Ronald Bermudez went 3-3 with a walk and scored two runs in the victory as well.

-Sebastian Vader had a rough start for the high A Frederick Keys, allowing four earned runs on eight hits and a walk over just 5.1 innings in a 5-0 loss to the Winston-Salem Dash. Former Catonsville Community College standout Glynn Davis recorded the Keys’ only hit of the game, a single off Dash starter Tony Bucciferro.

-Third baseman Drew Dosch went 3-5 with a RBI but it wasn’t enough for the Single A Delmarva Shorebirds in a 5-4 loss to the Hagerstown Suns. The Shorebirds had a 4-3 lead after seven innings but reliever Garrett Cortright allowed single runs in both the 8th and 9th to allow Hagerstown the victory.

-Pitcher Luc Rennie gave up eight earned runs (nine hits, two walks) as the low A level Aberdeen Ironbirds were blasted 14-3 by the Mahoning Valley Scappers. Center fielder Oswill Lartguez and shortstop Austin Pfeiffer had two hits apiece in the loss.

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Roberts doubles for Baysox in win

Posted on 28 May 2012 by WNST Staff

BOWIE, Md. – The Baysox (22-28) shut out the Altoona Curve (22-27) 4-0 to win their first home series of the year Monday afternoon. It was the team’s third shutout win of the season and third win in a row.

The team was going on all cylinders as the Baysox pitching tied their season best by allowing just three hits and the Baysox offense continued to come through with big hits that helped build the team’s lead. Four of the team’s 10 hits were for extra-bases.

“Everything was in sync today,” said Manager Gary Kendall. “We got some big extra-base hits – they are huge because when we were in those ruts where we were losing five straight, it seemed like if we had six hits they were six singles. It takes away a lot of pressure when you are able to hit a home run, especially with a man on base. Things were falling into place and guys were able to manufacture runs because of that extra base.”

Baltimore Orioles Brian Roberts and Endy Chavez were both in the lineup for the Baysox Monday afternoon on Major League rehab assignments. Roberts finished 1-3 with a double and Chavez finished 1-2 with a walk.

Baysox right-handed starting pitcher Oliver Drake pitched six shutout innings for the Baysox Monday afternoon. He did not allow a hit through the first four and one-third innings of the game and allowed just one total hit while striking out three batters and walking three in the win.

“My sinker was moving and I was getting some ground balls and I was able to have them put swings on ball in counts that I wanted to,” said Drake. “It was able to throw all of my pitches for strikes today, which was nice. There were a couple times where I got a little erratic and fell behind a couple guys and walked them for the most part I was able to make them hit the ball on the ground.”

“I always used to hear managers say, ‘you get good karma when you get good starting pitching,’ and you aren’t going to get any better than that,” Kendall said. “[Drake] went out there and commanded his pitches. It was a good day.”

The Baysox jumped out to a rare early lead in the bottom of the third inning against Altoona starter Phil Irwin. First baseman Buck Britton hit a lead off double to center field and moved to third base when right fielder Josh Barfield singled to left field. Britton scored when third baseman Zelous Wheeler grounded into a double play to give the Baysox a 1-0 lead.

Bowie added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Barfield hit a lead off single to center field and scored when Wheeler hit a two-run blast to center field to make the score 3-0.

“We have a runner on second base with now outs and I was just trying to get him over and I hit a home run,” Wheeler said. “It was a nice day to play the game and we had some good at bats today so it was nice to come away with the win.”

The Baysox added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning against Altoona reliever Mike Colla. Hoes hit a lead off double to left-center field and moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt by designated hitter Robbie Widlansky. Shortstop Manny Machado hit another sacrifice fly to plate Hoes and give the Baysox a 4-0 lead.

Right-handed reliever Robert Hinton pitched a scoreless seventh inning, allowing one hit and striking out one batter. Left-handed reliever Cole McCurry pitched a scoreless eighth inning in his first appearance out of the bullpen this season. Right-handed reliever Pat Egan pitched the ninth inning for the Baysox and allowed one hit, while walking one batter.

RHP Tim Bascom (3-2, 4.25) takes the mound for the Baysox tomorrow as they begin a three game road series against the Akron Aeros. He will be opposed by RHP Giovanni Soto (4-2, 4.07). The Baysox depart for Akron for a three game road trip beginning Tuesday, May 29 before returning to Bowie Friday, June 1 for a three game home stand against Reading.

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Roberts doubles, scores for Baysox in win

Posted on 27 May 2012 by WNST Staff

BOWIE, Md. – The Baysox (21-28) offense scored four early runs and the bullpen protected the lead the rest of the way as Bowie topped Altoona (22-26) 4-2 Sunday afternoon.

For the second game in a row, the Baysox offense did not record many hits, but took advantage of the opportunities they had to get enough runs on the board to win the game. The Baysox bullpen pitched five and one-third innings of one run ball behind an injured Bobby Bundy to hold the lead for the remainder of the game.

“What was great about today is that we got some big hits – some extra-base hits,” said Manager Gary Kendall. “We have gotten beat by teams with extra-base hits early in the season – guys are on and a guy comes up with a double and all of a sudden they are driving runs in. Offensively, there were some guys in the lineup that are not where they normally are, but they are competing out there and I will take those good at-bats and their effort in winning games.”

Three Baltimore Orioles players were in the Baysox lineup again Sunday afternoon on Major League rehab assignments. Brian Roberts started the game at second base and went 1-3 with a double and a run scored. Mark Reynolds played third base and went 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. Endy Chavez played left field and went 0-3 with a walk and a run scored.

Altoona again struck first Sunday, this time scoring in the top of the first inning against right-handed starting pitcher Bobby Bundy. Leadoff hitter Robbie Grossman doubled to center field and Tony Sanchez hit a one out double to center field to plate Grossman and give Altoona a 1-0 lead.

The Baysox tied the score in the bottom of the first inning against Altoona starter Matt McSwain. Left fielder Chavez drew a one out walk and advanced to second base on a wild pitch with center fielder LJ Hoes batting. Hoes then hit a two out double to center field to plate Chavez and tie the game 1-1.

“Batting clean-up has been a change – I have been seeing a lot more off-speed stuff, but it’s been nice because [the Orioles rehabbers] are always on base,” Hoes said.” My approach has been to go out there and just try to make good contact with the ball to drive a runner in some way.”

Bowie took the lead in the bottom of the second inning. Designated hitter Buck Britton drew a lead off walk and catcher Allan de San Miguel followed with a one out home run to left field. Roberts doubled to left field and moved to third base when Chavez grounded out. Reynolds then drew a walk and Roberts scored when Hoes reached on a fielder’s choice and throwing error by the shortstop that made the score 4-1.

The Curve got one run back in the top of the fifth inning against left-handed reliever Chris Petrini. Kelson Brown hit a one out single to right field and stole second base with Brock Holt batting. With two outs, Holt singled to center field to plate Brown and make the score 4-2.

Bundy pitched three and two-thirds innings, allowing one run on two hits while striking out four batters and walking two in the no decision. He exited the game in the top of the fourth inning with an apparent injury.

Petrini pitched three and one-third innings and allowed one run on four hits while striking out four batters in relief of Bundy. Petrini also earned his third win of the season. Left-handed reliever Pedro Viola pitched one and one-third scoreless innings in relief and allowed one hit while striking out one batter. Closer Greg Burke recorded the final two outs of the ninth inning to earn the save.

McSwain earned the loss for Altoona, pitching seven innings and allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits while striking out five batters and walking three.

RHP Oliver Drake (0-1, 2.25) takes the mound for the Baysox tomorrow as they play the final game in a four game home series against the Altoona Curve. He will be opposed by RHP Phil Irwin (0-2, 5.19).

The Baysox are home through Monday, May 28 for an eight game home stand that concludes on Memorial Day with a game starting at 2:05 p.m. The team then departs to Akron for a three game road trip before returning to Bowie Friday, June 1 for a three game home stand against Reading.

 

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Britton allows 3H, 2BB over 5IP for Bowie in rehab start

Posted on 27 May 2012 by WNST Staff

BOWIE, Md. – With three Baltimore Orioles players in the line-up, the Baysox (20-28) rolled past Altoona (22-25) 9-6 Saturday night to end a four game losing streak against the Curve.

The Baysox offense scored their nine runs on just eight hits, but were able to take advantage of seven walks to get the offense going. In the team’s four run second inning, the offense recorded just two hits, but also drew four walks to get more runners on base.

“We took advantage of some walks to give us a lead,” said Manager Gary Kendall. “We also had one inning where we came through with a base hit and then we got a two-run home run. I thought we ran the bases well and we took advantage of some stolen bases – we will take runs any way they come.”

Baltimore Orioles left-handed starting pitcher Zach Britton made his season debut for the Baysox Saturday evening, pitching five innings and allowing two unearned runs on three hits while striking out six and walking two in the win.

“I think tonight was a successful start,” said Zach. “I got my pitch count up and I definitely threw a lot more breaking balls than I normally would, but I just wanted to get the feel for that. Towards the end I got a little tired, but overall I though it was pretty good.”

Baysox right fielder Buck Britton, the older brother of pitcher Zach Britton, had a strong game in support of his brother Saturday. He went 2-4 with a home run, two runs and two RBIs. This is the third season in a row that the two brothers have had some limited opportunities to play with each other.

“At that time in the game, I felt like we needed a big hit, the count went to 3-2 and I got a fastball over the plate and I put a good swing on it,” Buck said, “Last year every time [Zach] pitched I would hit a home run too. I don’t know what it is – I guess sometimes the Britton’s just get going.”

The Baysox also had two other Orioles players making Major League Rehab Appearances with the Baysox Saturday – third baseman Mark Reynolds and left fielder Endy Chavez. Reynolds finished the game 1-4 with a walk, two strikeouts and a fielding error. Chavez was 1-5 with two runs scored.

For the sixth time this homestand, the Baysox opponent scored first. Saturday night, Altoona struck first with two runs in the top of the second inning. With two outs, Miles Durham drew a walk and then moved to second base when Quincy Latimore reached on a fielding error by Reynolds. Elevys Gonzalez then singled to left field to score Durham and move Latimore to third when he scored on a wild pitch to make the score 2-0.

The Baysox jumped back into the lead in the bottom of the second inning against Altoona starter Nathan Baker. With one out, shortstop Manny Machado was hit by a pitch and catcher Caleb Joseph followed by drawing a walk. Buck singled to right field to load the bases and designated hitter Josh Barfield hit an infield single to score the first run. Chavez grounded into a force out and second baseman Jonathan Schoop followed by drawing a walk to score another run. With Reynolds batting, Baker threw a wild pitch that advanced all the runners and plated Barfield. Reynolds then drew a walk to load the bases and Baker was called for a balk with center fielder LJ Hoes batting to plate Chavez and give the Baysox a 4-2 lead.

Bowie extended their lead in the bottom of the fifth inning against Altoona reliever Kyle Cofield. Hoes drew a lead off walk and scored from first base on a double to center field by first baseman Robbie Widlansky. With two outs, Buck homered to center field to give the Baysox a 7-2 lead. Jeff Inman replaced Cofield on the mound to finish the inning.

The Curve got back in the game in the top of the sixth inning against left-handed pitcher Jake Pettit. Matt Curry hit a one out single to left field and Durham drew a two out walk. Latimore then hit a three-run home run to left-center field that made the score 7-5.

The Baysox again extended their lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Hoes drew a two out walk and stole second base with Widlansky batting. Widlansky then singled to center field to plate Hoes and extend the Baysox lead to 8-5.

Bowie added another insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning against Altoona reliever Vic Black. Chavez hit a lead off single to second base and scored on a Mark Reynolds double to right field after a throwing error by the right fielder to make the score 9-5.

Altoona mounted a last rally in the top of the ninth inning against right-handed reliever Kyler Newby. Elevys Gonzalez hit a one out double, but was then thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a triple. Robbie Grossman then hit a two out single to center field and scored when Brock Holt doubled to left field to make the score 9-6. Right-handed reliever Greg Burke entered to finish the ninth inning and record the save.

Pettit pitched two innings and allowed three runs on three hits while striking out two batters and walking one. Newby pitched one and two-thirds innings and allowed one run on three hits while striking out four batters.

Baker earned the loss for the Curve, pitching three innings and allowed four runs on three hits while striking out three batters and walking five.

RHP Bobby Bundy (2-7, 5.26) takes the mound for the Baysox tomorrow as they play the third game in a four game home series against the Altoona Curve.

The Baysox are home through Monday, May 28 for an eight game home stand. Baltimore Orioles players Brian Roberts, Mark Reynolds and Endy Chavez will be making Major League Rehab Appearances with the Baysox over the weekend.

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Roberts working on “getting his clock back” in early stages of rehab assignment

Posted on 26 May 2012 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Three games into his minor rehab assignment, Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts thankfully hasn’t suffered any setbacks.

However, after a yearlong layoff from playing in real games, Roberts is still re-adjusting to the speed of the game at the minor-league level. In case anyone was wondering, that’s to be expected, according to manager Buck Showalter.

“He’s starting to get his clock back,” Showalter said. “If this thing, the way that he’s got it drawn it up and we have, he’d have the equivalent of spring training under his belt — at-bats-wise. He’d be in the mid-50s [for] plate appearances. He’s doing probably more work before the game [so far].”

Roberts has played second base and received six plate appearances in his first three games at Double-A Bowie before receiving the day off on Saturday. The 34-year-old has yet to collect a hit but has walked twice and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly on Friday night.

The plan is for Roberts to receive three plate appearances in Bowie on Sunday and Monday before heading to Single-A Delmarva on Tuesday and Wednesday, where he is expected to receive four plate appearances per game.

Beyond that, Showalter wants to discuss the remainder of the 20-day rehab assignment — ending on June 11 — with Roberts and expressed a desire for the veteran to finish the stint with games at Triple-A Norfolk.

Before going on his rehab assignment, Roberts acknowledged to reporters he’s thought about changes he might have to make in his style of play, particularly sliding feet-first instead of the headfirst slides that were a trademark of his career prior to the concussion-related issues. Showalter plans to discuss this with Roberts after he has stacked some more plate appearances, but he doesn’t envision a dramatically-different approach for the middle infielder and leadoff hitter.

“I’ll kind of believe that when I see it,” Showalter said. “I think he’s going to play the game with some energy. That’s the one thing — the couple games I saw — his clock isn’t quite there.”

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Roberts to begin minor league rehab assignment on Wednesday

Posted on 22 May 2012 by Luke Jones

(Updated: 7:30 p.m.)

BALTIMORE — A day after second baseman Brian Roberts expressed optimism that he was closer than ever to a return, the Orioles announced he will begin a long-awaited rehab assignment on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old Roberts will report to Double-A Bowie to begin a minor league rehab assignment, which the club hopes will lead to his return after a year-plus layoff. Roberts last played in a game on May 16, 2011 at Fenway Park.

“[I’m] excited, scared, a little bit of everything,” Roberts said. “It’s been a long time coming for sure. Sometimes it feels like two days and sometimes it feels like 10 years, but I’m extremely excited.”

Under major league baseball rules, Roberts has a maximum of 20 days for a rehab assignment as a position player. Manager Buck Showalter and Roberts said he will likely take the full amount of time before being activated.

Roberts will play second base and receive two or three at-bats in his first couple games. He also expects to serve as the designated hitter on occasion and will have some days off mixed in as well. Roberts said he’s viewing the 20-day period as his version of spring training.

He’s embracing the reality of once again playing baseball — even in the minor leagues — after simply struggling with his overall quality of life at different points over his recovery time.

“When there’s days where you’re laying on the couch and you really can’t even function, you’re not necessarily even thinking about baseball,” Roberts said. “There were days that [playing again] never even crossed my mind. I was just trying to get back to a normal life. As we continued to progress, I still had doubts about playing baseball, but I had more confidence in being able to live a productive and enjoyable life. Now, I’m beginning to think that playing baseball at a high level is a reality as well.”

The 20-day period would end on June 11, meaning Roberts could be in the lineup when the Orioles welcome the Pittsburgh Pirates to town for an interleague series on June 12.

 Listen to Roberts’ entire interview with the media prior to Tuesday’s game right here.

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Orioles’ future on display Sunday

Posted on 11 July 2009 by Luke Jones

The Orioles may be approaching the All-Star Break in a familiar position—out of contention—but their promising future will be on display Sunday afternoon, both in Baltimore and St. Louis.

Rookie right-hander Brad Bergesen—the Orioles’ biggest surprise of the first half—will take the hill in the Orioles’ final game before the break, but two other young pitching prospects will highlight their talents before a national television audience in St. Louis.

We’ve heard the numerous reports about the Orioles’ “Big Three” of Chris Tillman, Brian Matusz, and Jake Arrieta, but how many fans have actually seen them pitch?

Probably not too many.

We’ll get the chance to see Tillman and Matusz on Sunday, as the two prospects will take part in the Futures Game at 2 p.m. on ESPN2.  Arrieta participated in last year’s game.  The annual contest features some of the most promising minor leaguers in baseball.

The 21-year-old Tillman—one of the key pieces acquired in the Erik Bedard trade—appears to be the next in line for a promotion to Baltimore, pitching to a 7-5 record and a 2.50 ERA with Norfolk.  The Triple-A prospect was recently rated as Baseball America’s eighth-best overall prospect in its midseason report.

Tillman, 6-foot-5,  is averaging more than a strikeout per inning and has added an improved changeup to a repertoire already including a mid-90s fastball and a sharp curveball.  Club officials are excited about his vast success at such a young age but are trying to balance this enthusiasm with a fear of rushing the young pitcher, a dilemma becoming more difficult with the struggles of starters Rich Hill and Jason Berken in Baltimore.

Even more impressive than Tillman is the progress of Matusz in his first year of professional baseball.  The club’s first-round pick in 2008, Matusz did not sign a contract in time to play with a full-season team last year.

After going 4-2 with a 2.16 ERA in only 11 starts at Single-A Frederick to begin the season, the southpaw was promoted to Double-A Bowie last month.  In his four starts with the Baysox, the 22-year-old has posted unbelievable numbers, including a 4-0 record, a 0.34 ERA, and 32 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings.

His most recent start was an eight-inning, one-hit effort against the Harrisburg Senators in which Matusz struck out 11 batters.  Matusz has allowed only one earned run since being promoted from Frederick.

Matusz was just one spot behind Tillman on Baseball America’s midseason list at No. 9, but the organization figures to handle Matusz similarly to Matt Wieters by allowing him to play an entire season in the minor leagues before promoting him early next season.

Of course, skeptics will argue that plenty of former Baltimore prospects have played in the Futures Game and flopped in Baltimore—and they would be correct with Matt Riley, Radhames Liz, and Garrett Olson as three examples—but a number of current Orioles have participated in the Futures Game including Nolan Reimold, Danys Baez, Felix Pie, and Lou Montanez.

The Futures Game, first staged in 1999, holds an impressive list of past participants who are now thriving at the big-league level.  Past selections include Lance Berkman, Ryan Braun, Adam Dunn, Josh Hamilton, Hanley Ramirez, CC Sabathia, Grady Sizemore, and Chase Utley.

There are no guarantees—after all, the young pitchers are still only hurling against Double-A and Triple-A talent—but it’s easy to get excited when considering Matusz, Tillman, and Arrieta are all rated higher than Bergesen was on the Orioles’ list of pitching prospects.

For the sake of Orioles fans suffering through another summer of meaningless baseball—at least in terms of the AL East standings—Sunday should be a nice reprieve and, hopefully, a promise of what’s to come.

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Jason Berken

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So just who the heck is Jason Berken?

Posted on 26 May 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

With Memorial Day in the rear view mirror and the squad on a mini-streak of daylight (they’ve won 3 of 4), the Orioles will welcome young RHP Jason Berken to the hill tonight to take on the fading Toronto Blue Jays.

Starting in Aberdeen during the summer of 2006, Berken’s trip becomes complete tonight as a big leaguer. How long will he stay? How will he pitch? Who the heck is Jason Berken?

All fair questions for the novice Orioles fan who doesn’t spend late nights up studying the team’s minor-league depth chart.

Berken is a former 6th-round Draft pick out of Clemson who spent most of the spring at the team’s slummy complex in Sarasota, Fla. He went 12-4 for Bowie last season and started there again this year, but he moved up to Triple-A Norfolk when Bergesen joined the big league rotation.

And once he arrived in Norfolk, Berken went 2-0 with a 1.05 ERA putting himself in position to be promoted tonight. It’s also his turn in the rotation and his night to pitch. So, we’ll have to wait on Jake Arrieta, Chris Tillman and Brian Matusz not to mention David Hernandez, who could be taking Koji Uehara’s spot in the rotation later in the week.

In the era of the internet, it’s easy to do the research and “catch up” a bit.

Here’s a video of what he looks like:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFw_dNZ9e8A[/youtube]

And his stats are a click away as well…

Jason Berken

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