Orioles-Nation http://orioles-nation.com Sat, 19 Apr 2014 17:13:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 Minor League Scores – 4/18/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/19/minor-league-scores-41814/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/19/minor-league-scores-41814/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 04:12:36 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14764 Christian Walker went 2-4 with a HR for the Baysox on Friday Night against Akron

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Today’s Result Tomorrow Durham 3 , 0 Norfolk Opponent Location Time Starter 4 – 11 Box Score Durham Bulls Home 7:05 PM Mike Wright
  • Henry Urrutia: 1-4, K
  • Ivan DeJesus: 1-2, BB, K
  • Suk-min Yoon: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
  • Kelvin De La Cruz: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
  • Brock Huntzinger: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Akron 7 , 6 Bowie Opponent Location Time Starter
8 – 7 Box Score Akron Rubberducks Home 2:05 PM Matt Bischoff
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
 Frederick 3 , 1 Carolina Opponent Location Time Starter
7 – 8 Box Score Carolina Mudcats Away 6:00 PM Parker Bridwell
 Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Delmarva 2 , 1 Greensboro Opponent Location Time Starter
8 – 7 Box Score Greensboro Grasshoppers Away  7:00 PM Sebastian Vader
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Opponent Location Time Starter
- - - - - -
Notes
Season begins in June

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Shorebirds and Keys Notes 4/12 – 4/15 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/18/branden-kline-scouting-report-4132014/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/18/branden-kline-scouting-report-4132014/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:00:48 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14744 The rest of the ON staff scouting notes from the Shorebirds and Keys games they witnessed this week.

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Notes by Tucker Blair and Brad Clark from Delmarva and Frederick this week.

Conor Bierfeldt – OF

Arguably the best hitter at Aberdeen last year, but the bat has not played well so far at Delmarva. He has a strong and quick swing;  not much movement in the hands or elbow; swing has an uppercut which will cause some swing and miss. Power is legitimate; plus raw. In the games I saw, he looked lost at the plate. He was having trouble picking up secondary pitches, such as the curveball from Greensboro starter Max Garner. I am willing to give pause on Bierfeldt for now, but the initial look in his first go-around in full season baseball has not been good in my eyes, or from what I have heard.

- Tucker Blair

Federico Castagnini – INFFederico Castagnini

While he does not have much potential in the bat, he does enough to potentially have a long minor league career. Castagnini is very smooth with his movements, with a fluid swing and quick wrists. I was impressed with one specific at-bat, where he battled off a few borderline pitches and then went with a middle-outside fastball and dipped it over the first baseman’s head. His glove plays at second base well, and I think his range is suitable enough to play anywhere around the infield. Most likely, Castagnini plays a utility role in a similar fashion that Sammie Starr has held in the past few years. The Orioles do not have a plethora of middle infield prospects, so players like Castagnini, Justin Viele, Jeff Kemp and others will likely fill these spots for now.

- Tucker Blair

Williams Louico – RHP

He just has no idea where the ball is going; Command and Control grade out at 20. Sure, he throws upper 90′s and has topped 100 mph before, but that is the basis of his game. The slider does not have good feel and I really think Louico is a astronomically difficult project for a team to fix.

- Tucker Blair

Dennis Torres – RHP

Mechanics: First time seeing Torres, even though he has been in the system a few years now. Delivery is 3/4th with good arm action but he is too stiff on the follow through. Legs do not provide enough push and this affects his arsenal most likely.
Fastball: 90-92 mph, some late explosion, but fairly straight
Slider: 77-79 mph with average tilt. Not a tremendous amount of feel for the pitch.

Overall, organization player that can eat up some innings

- Tucker Blair

Branden Kline – RHP

Fastball sat 90-93, occasionally touching 94.  The pitch could flash some late life at the high end of the velocity spectrum, but was very flat on the day.  The lack of motion on the fastball contributed to some hard contact by opposing batters.  Kline had a lot of trouble controlling the pitch, especially later in the game.  Changeup was 79-83 and used very sparingly; however, it was the better of the two pitches he threw on Sunday.  The change showed a crisp late drop and Kline commanded it well in its limited use, recording his only strikeout with it.  Kline did not throw his curveball at all on the day.  Kline throws from a high ¾ slot and has some effort in his delivery.  After allowing two stolen bases early on, Kline showed a nice pickoff move to first base later on and came very close to getting the out on a couple of attempts.

- Brad Clark

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Minor League Scores – 4/17/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/17/minor-league-scores-41714/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/17/minor-league-scores-41714/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 02:09:27 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14763 Steven Brault struck out 9 batters in 7.0 scoreless innings for Delmarva on Thursday Night

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Today’s Result Tomorrow Norfolk 2 , 3 Durham Opponent Location Time Starter 4 – 10 Box Score Durham Bulls Home 7:05 PM Suk-min Yoon
  • Alexi Casilla: 1-2, 2 RBI, BB
  • Caleb Joseph: 0-4, 3 K
  • T.J. McFarland: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
  • Chris Jones: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K
  • Tim Alderson: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K
Notes:

  • Activated Tim Alderson from the DL
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Akron 3 , 2 Bowie Opponent Location Time Starter
8 – 6 Box Score Akron Rubberducks Home 6:35 PM Jake Pettit
  • Christian Walker: 2-4, 2 K
  • Dariel Alvarez: 1-4, 2B, RBI
  • Tim Berry: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K
  • Marcel Prado: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K
  • Fabio Castillo: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
 Frederick 7 , 3 Winston-Salem Opponent Location Time Starter
6 – 8 Box Score Carolina Mudcats Away 7:00 PM Branden Kline
 Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Delmarva 3 , 1 Greensboro Opponent Location Time Starter
7 – 7 Box Score Greensboro Grasshoppers Away  7:00 PM Mitch Horacek
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Opponent Location Time Starter
- - - - - -
Notes
Season begins in June

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Matt Wieters Early Season Success http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/17/matt-wieters-early-season-success/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/17/matt-wieters-early-season-success/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:00:26 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14743 Matt Wieters is off to the hottest start of his career. Staff Writer Alex Conway looks to see what may have changed about the Orioles catcher

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Matt Wieters is off to one of the hottest starts of his career. The “switch-hitting Jesus” and “Mauer with Power” prospect has teased Orioles fans with excellence before. The myths of his talents grew in the minors as Orioles fans eagerly awaited his arrival to the major leagues. However, Wieters has never fully actualized that potential seen in him years ago. While a defensive stud behind the plate, at the plate is where Wieters has perplexed Orioles fans. Month long runs of sustained batting excellence are surrounded by months of ground balls and pop flies. The expectations that fans had for Wieters were unfair; however, to say he has disappointed in his ability with the bat to this point is not an overstatement.

Yet, Wieters is off to hot start in 2014, one of the first in his career. As of Tuesday, He is batting .366/.400/.634. He is hitting from both the left and right side of the plate like never before in his career. But after only 11 games in the books grand conclusions can be difficult to draw from this torrid pace. To find out what has caused this sudden surge in production it is best to look at the differences between this version of Wieters at the plate versus prior year iterations.

At first glance, the differences are clear. Looking at the batted ball data below, his line drive rate is currently 38.2% up from a career average of 18.2%. He is hitting the ball very hard. Also, his ground ball rate is a paltry 17.6% down from a career mark of 42.3%. Therefore, his high BAPIP of .387 is not necessarily luck driven. The hard contact is great for Wieters – as in his career, his line drives fall for hits 71% of time while he only converts 21% of his grounders into hits. His fly ball rate is similar to his career averages.

Delving deeper into the numbers can tell us why this sudden increase in line drives is occurring for Wieters. His walk rate thus far is 6.7% down from a career average of 8.6% and his strikeout rate is 17.8%, down from a career mark of 18.4%. Furthermore, his pitches per plate appearance is 3.64, almost a third of a pitch lower than his career rate of 3.92. These all may be construed as bad things – except of course the marginal drop in strikeout rate – from a plate discipline standpoint. However, Wieters’ aggression seems to be stemming from swinging at better pitches to hit.

WietersBattedBall

Looking at the charts below, the rate at which Matt Wieters is swinging at pitches in the zone this year is a career high of 78.7% up from a 67.8% career rate. This has led to a career high in contact rate on pitches within the strike zone and a career low on pitches seen (i.e. not swung at) in the strike zone. His swing rate on pitches outside of the zone is marginally up .8%, but his contact on pitches out of the strike zone is up just over 3%. These numbers show that Wieters has been much more aggressive this year at the plate. He is selecting pitches he can drive, making solid contact with them, and driving them rather than letting pitches go by he can drive.

WietersPlateDisc

However, the story does not stop with the numbers. Wieters has also improved his technique at the plate. Being a switch hitter makes being an accomplished hitter difficult. Two swings to worry about can cause much consternation and confusion. Over his career, Wieters has hit .246 from the left side and .281 from the right side in his career.  His struggles from the left side have caused his career stats to drag as over 71% of his plate appearances come from that side.

Looking at Wieters’ swing from the left side, it has changed some. Notice in the pictures below the differences in the load and at the point of contact. The first and third pictures below are from this year against Toronto and Esmil Rogers from this past Sunday; the second and fourth pictures below are from a game last year against the Angels and Garrett Richards. Both pitches are sliders and both are in the middle of the plate. The one against Toronto on Sunday was hit for a homerun, the at bat against Garrett Richards ended in a groundout to second base. Notice in Wieters’  load  from 2014; the slightly higher leg kick, lower hands, and more crouched stance in 2014. This gives Wieters a better ability to get the bat to the ball and drive the ball. At the point of contact, his hands are lower as well. Also notice how his back leg is more firmly into the ground at the point of contact rather than on the tip of his toe preventing getting out in front and adding more power to the swing. These alterations make it easier for him to make contact and to make stronger contact.

  Wieters2014LoadWieters2013LoadWieters2014POCWieters2013POC

These adjustments in his swing from the left side combined with his more aggressive approach at the plate overall have driven Matt Wieters’ early 2014 success. If he continues on this path his most offensively productive season may soon follow. The Orioles and their fans should be encouraged by the start and by the adjustments Wieters has made to his plate discipline and left-handed swing. If these trends persist, it will mean great things for both Wieters and the Orioles this season.

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Minor League Scores – 4/16/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/16/minor-league-scores-41614/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/16/minor-league-scores-41614/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 02:38:12 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14755 Hunter Harvey was dominant on Wednesday, tossing 6.0 scoreless innings against the Hagerstown Suns.

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Today’s Result Tomorrow Norfolk 9 , 6 Durham Opponent Location Time Starter 4 – 9 Box Score Durham Bulls Away 7:05 PM T.J. McFarland
  • Julio Borbon: 2-4, 3 RBI, 2 BB, K, SB
  • Jemile Weeks: 1-3, RBI, 3 BB
  • Henry Urrutia: 1-5, 2B, RBI, K
  • Caleb Joseph: 3-4, 2B, RBI, BB, K
  • Chris Marrero: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K
  • Eddie Gamboa: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 7 K
  • Nick Additon: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 0 K
  • Brade Brach: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
  • Preston Guilmet: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
 Bowie 6 , 5 Erie Opponent Location Time Starter
8 – 5 Box Score Akron Rubberducks Home 6:35 PM Tim Berry
Notes:
Today’s Result (Game 1) Tomorrow
 Frederick 5 , 3 Winston-Salem Opponent Location Time Starter
5 – 8 Box Score Winston-Salem Dash Away 7:00 PM Brady Wager
Notes:
  • 7 inning game
Today’s Result (Game 2) Tomorrow
 Frederick 2 , 0 Winston-Salem Opponent Location Time Starter
5 – 8 Box Score - - - -
Notes:
  • 7 inning game
Today’s Result Tomorrow
 Hagerstown 0 , 1 Delmarva Opponent Location Time Starter
6 – 7 Box Score Greensboro Grasshoppers Home  7:00 PM  Steven Brault
Notes:

  • Tonight’s game went 15 innings and the second game of the doubleheader was cancelled.
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Opponent Location Time Starter
- - - - - -
Notes
Season begins in June

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Minor League Scores – 4/15/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/15/minor-league-scores-41514/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/15/minor-league-scores-41514/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 02:16:26 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14742 Kevin Gausman and the Norfolk Tides were the lone affiliate to play tonight due to inclement weather.

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Today’s Result Tomorrow Norfolk 0 , 15 Gwinnett Opponent Location Time Starter 3 – 9 Box Score Durham Bulls Away 7:05 PM Eddie Gamboa
  • Henry Urrutia: 1-4, 3 K
  • Alexi Casilla: 2-4, 2 2B, K
  • Kevin Gausman: 3.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 1 K
  • Kelvin De La Cruz: 1.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 0 K
  • Brock Huntzinger: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 0 K
  • Preston Guilmet: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Notes:

Today’s Result Tomorrow
Opponent Location Time Starter
7 – 5 POSTPONED Erie Seawolves Away 12:05 PM Tyler Wilson
Notes:
  • Tonight’s game was postponed due to inclement weather and will be made up as part of a doubleheader on August 26th
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Opponent Location Time Starter
3 – 8 POSTPONED Winston Salem Dash Away 11:00 AM Matt Taylor (Game 1)TBD (Game 2)
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Opponent Location Time Starter
5 – 7 POSTPONED Hagerstown Suns Home 7:05 PM Hunter Harvey (Game 1)Steven Brault (Game 2)
Notes:

  • Tonight’s game was postponed due to inclement weather and will be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow (4/16)
  • Transferred Lucas Herbst to Frederick
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Opponent Location Time Starter
- - - - - -
Notes
Season begins in June

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Shorebirds Notes 4/12 – 4/13 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/15/shorebirds-notes-412-413/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/15/shorebirds-notes-412-413/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:00:46 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14737 Shorebirds notes on Hector Veloz, Jon Keller and Sebastian Vader from the weekend

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A few notes from the Shorebirds’ series this weekend. More updates will come later this week from around the Orioles’ farm. Also, keep an eye out for reports on Chance Sisco and Josh Hart over at Baseball Prospectus.

Hector Veloz – 3B/1B

Hector Veloz

Hector Veloz

Veloz has plus-plus raw power, but it largely goes wasted in games because he cannot make enough contact. After watching him again this weekend (and many times at Aberdeen last year), I think a large reason for this is because of how violent his swing is. He practically falls out of his shoes on the swing, which is actually fairly balanced for how violent he is with it. I would like to see him tone it down some, and not always try to crush the ball. It may lead to some added contact, although the plate discipline is still poor. He also played first base, which is definitely where Veloz should end up. He is not agile enough for third base, and the mental lapses were noted many times in Aberdeen. I mostly care about the bat, and anything to accelerate growth in the bat sounds like a plan to me. Veloz is also the funniest player I have ever watched. There might not be a bigger goofball in the entire system. I am rooting for him just for the fact that I need people to see him on television.

Jon Keller – RHP

This was my first time seeing Keller in action. He is a huge pitcher with a giant frame. Keller looks the part of a professional pitcher, and he is built. He was pumping his fastball 95-97 mph with some explosion and life. It is a plus pitch. While the Grasshoppers were making contact, I saw plenty to be excited about. He has a slider and change that need some refinement, but they both flashed average potential. Keller is working every three days out of the bullpen for Delmarva, and the hope is for him to return as a starter next season. Keep an eye on him, his arm is definitely noteworthy.

Sebastian Vader – RHP

Vader was hit hard and often in his start this weekend. The fastball will not play up at the higher levels, as was clearly noted in this start. He sat 89-91 most of the night, but the fastball was straight and hittable. The curveball and changeup were formidable at Aberdeen, but he was not fooling anyone in this outing. While his command has been solid, I do not think the arsenal will be good enough to move much further in a starting role. He has clean mechanics and there is potential for some growth into his frame, but it probably will not be enough. Vader was great at Aberdeen, but the jump to full season leagues can be very damning. Imagine jumping from Pre-Calculus to Advanced Calculus…or something like that.

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Minor League Scores – 4/14/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/15/minor-league-scores-41414/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/15/minor-league-scores-41414/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 04:12:17 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14736 Josh Hart went 3-4 with a RBI and SB for the Shorebirds.

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Today’s Result Tomorrow Norfolk 4 , 5 Gwinnett Opponent Location Time Starter 3 – 8 Box Score Gwinnett Braves Away 6:35 PM Kevin Gausman
  • Julio Borbon: 0-4, 1 BB, 2 K
  • Caleb Joseph: 1-4, 2B, K
  • Alexi Casilla: 1-4, RBI
  • Jemile Weeks: 1-4, 2B, BB
  • Brett Wallace: 3-4
  • Mike Wright: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
  • Brad Brach: 1.0 IP, 1 BB, 1 K
Notes
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Bowie 3 , 4 Erie Opponent Location Time Starter
7 – 5 Box Score Erie Seawolves Away 6:35 PM Tyler Wilson
Notes: The game was called after 6.0 innings due to inclement weather
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Lynchburg 5 , 4 Frederick Opponent Location Time Starter
3 – 8 Box Score Winston Salem Dash Away 7:00 PM Matt Taylor
Notes: This was a 12 inning game
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Hagerstown 2 , 9 Delmarva Opponent Location Time Starter
5 – 7 Box Score Hagerstown Suns Home 7:05 PM Stephen Brault
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Opponent Location Time Starter
- - - - - -
Notes
Season begins in June

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Minor League Players of the Week: 4/7 – 4/13 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/14/minor-league-players-week-47-413/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/14/minor-league-players-week-47-413/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 12:37:04 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14734 T.J. McFarland threw five shutout innings in his second start of the year.

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Position Player of the Week- Glynn Davis

Davis is 13 for 27 this week with an OPS of 1.083.  He has scored seven runs for the Keys over their last six games.

 

Starting Pitcher of the Week- T.J. McFarland

McFarland posted the best overall line in the system this week going 5.0 innings with 3 hits, no walks, no runs and 5 strikeouts, bringing his season ERA down to 1.00 over two starts.

 

Relief Pitcher of the Week- Jason Gurka

Gurka dominated in his two relief appearances this week throwing a total of 5.0 innings while allowing only two hits and a walk.  He did not give up any runs and struck out six, bringing his season ERA down to 1.80.

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Minor League Scores – 4/13/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/13/minor-league-scores-41314/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/13/minor-league-scores-41314/#comments Sun, 13 Apr 2014 21:43:09 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14733 Suk-Min Yoon made his second start for the Norfolk Tides

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Today’s Result Tomorrow Norfolk 0 , 4 Charlotte Opponent Location Time Starter 3 – 7 Box Score Gwinnett Braves Away 6:35 PM Mike Wright
  • Julio Borbon: 1-4, 2 K
  • Johnny Monell: 0-3
  • Alexi Casilla: 0-3
  • Jemile Weeks: 0-2, BB
  • Brett Wallace: 0-3, K
  • Suk-Min Yoon: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 4 K
  • Nick Additon: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Notes
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Bowie 7 , 5 Akron Opponent Location Time Starter
7 – 4 Box Score Erie Seawolves Away 6:35 PM Eduardo Rodriguez
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Lynchburg 6 , 12 Frederick Opponent Location Time Starter
3 – 7 Box Score Lynchburg Hillcats Home 7:00 PM Parker Bridwell
Notes
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Greensboro 9 , 1 Delmarva Opponent Location Time Starter
4 – 7 Box Score Hagerstown Suns Home 7:05 PM Austin Urban
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Opponent Location Time Starter
- - - - - -
Notes
Season begins in June

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ON Mailbag 4/7 – 4/13 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/13/mailbag-47-413/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/13/mailbag-47-413/#comments Sun, 13 Apr 2014 15:37:58 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14731 Questions submitted to Orioles Nation for the Weekly Mailbag for the week of 4/7 - 4/13. Topics include Majors, Minors, Transactions, etc.

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Welcome to the Orioles Nation Mailbag. If you have future questions, you can submit them here:

All major league questions answered by Alex Conway.
All minor league questions answered by Tucker Blair.

If this JJ Hardy injury situation becomes long term, what do you feel will be Buck and DD’s solution? Would they bring Weeks up to play second and move Schoop to short? This would leave nobody on the bench with any defensive skill until Manny gets healthy and takes over for Flaherty. Are there any options outside the organization?
Hardy finally got into some game action last night, but we saw the consequences of what having Hardy and Machado out of the lineup can lead to. Furthermore, back issues are always of concern. They tend to linger and not heal quickly. Also, while maintaining good health with the Orioles, Hardy has had his own injury issues in the past. Therefore, if the situation were to creep up again, the backup plan is very important. Weeks is the most likely option, with Schoop and/or Flaherty playing shortstop and Weeks at second base. Schoop has spent the majority of his playing time in the minors at shortstop, so the transition should not be overly onerous on him. Other options would be one of the other utility infielders Duquette picked up in the offseason. One of Cord Phelps or David Adams may receive the call if they play themselves into it down in Norfolk. Steve Lombardozzi is obviously an option as well. As far as outside of the organization options, I doubt any of significance would be brought in to fill the void. If Duquette felt he needed to add someone, he’d simply scour the waiver wire as he typically does. — Alex Conway

Buck Britton seems to be off to a great start. Has he put himself on the radar to be a utility option for the big club? Or will he just be an organizational minor leaguer no matter how he performs?
The older brother of Zach Britton is heading into his seventh season in the Orioles’ minor league system. I like Buck, but he is an organization player at best. The swing is short, compact, and he barrels up the ball. However, there is just not enough going on for it to work at the major league level. Fringe power and average bat speed will hold him back against higher competition. He is an example of a really strong organization player though, as he can play multiple positions such as third and second base. Also, keep in mind that Buck has now seen the competition at AA for an extensive period of time. If he ever cracks the big leagues, it will most likely be as a depth call-up with another club. — Tucker Blair

Tucker, who is the most surprising player you have seen so far in 2014?
Dariel Alvarez – Looks decent in Center Field, where he has primarily played for the Baysox. He has a plus arm already, and it looks like he has shook off the rust and was making solid reads when I saw him. The bat still has some holes in it, but he shortened the swing and was making hard contact in the games I saw. Still way early, but there was progress from last year. — Tucker Blair

Hello, I would like to know why Tucker forgot his radar gun for the Keys game on 4/8/14. Thank you.
Thank you for reaching out. This is a serious issue and the ON staff promises it will be resolved as soon as possible. Have a good day.

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Minor League Scores – 4/12/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/12/minor-league-scores-41214/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/12/minor-league-scores-41214/#comments Sun, 13 Apr 2014 02:31:07 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14730 Glynn Davis collected two more hits to continue his torrid start to the 2014 season

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Today’s Result Tomorrow Norfolk 2 , 4 Charlotte Opponent Location Time Starter 3 – 6 Box Score Charlotte Knights Away 2:05 PM Suk-min Yoon Notes
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Bowie 5 , 6 Akron Opponent Location Time Starter
6 – 4 Box Score Akron Rubber Ducks Away 2:05 PM Jake Pettit
Notes:
  • Zach Davies left the game early due to being hit by a line drive.
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Lynchburg 8 , 1 Frederick Opponent Location Time Starter
2 – 7 Box Score Lynchburg Hillcats Home 2:00 PM Branden Kline
Notes
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Greensboro 7 , 1 Delmarva Opponent Location Time Starter
4 – 6 Box Score Greensboro Grasshoppers Home 2:05 PM Austin Urban
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Opponent Location Time Starter
- - - - - -
Notes
Season begins in June

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Minor League Scores – 4/11/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/11/minor-league-scores-41114/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/11/minor-league-scores-41114/#comments Sat, 12 Apr 2014 03:47:18 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14728 Mitch Horacek tossed 7.0 strong innings for the Shorebirds on Friday night.

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Today’s Result Tomorrow Norfolk 8 , 6 Charlotte Opponent Location Time Starter 3 – 5 Box Score Charlotte Knights Away  7:05 PM T.J. McFarland
  • Julio Borbon: 3-4, 2B, 3B, RBI, 2 BB, K, SB
  • Jemile Weeks: 1-4, 2 RBI, BB
  • Caleb Joseph: 1-5, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K
  • Quintin Berry: 3-5, HR, RBI, K
  • Steve Johnson: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 4 K
  • Chris Jones: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Brock Huntzinger: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
  • Kelvin De La Cruz: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K
  • Preston Guilmet: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
Notes
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Bowie 1 , 2 Akron Opponent Location Time Starter
6 – 3 Box Score Akron Rubber Ducks Away 2:05 PM Zach Davies
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Lynchburg 1 , 0 Frederick Opponent Location Time Starter
2 – 6 Box Score Lynchburg Hillcats Home 2:00 PM TBA
Notes
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Greensboro 6 , 3 Delmarva Opponent Location Time Starter
4 – 5 Box Score Greensboro Grasshoppers Home  7:05 PM Sebastian Vader
 Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Opponent Location Time Starter
- - - - - -
Notes
 Season begins in June

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Minor League Scores – 4/10/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/10/minor-league-scores-41014/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/10/minor-league-scores-41014/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 02:03:38 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14726 Hunter Harvey struck out six in the Shorebirds' home opener

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Today’s Result Tomorrow  Gwinnett 4 , 7 Norfolk Opponent Location Time Starter 2 – 5 Box Score Charlotte Knights Away  7:05 PM Steve Johnson
  • Jemile Weeks: 1-4
  • Henry Urrutia: 2-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI
  • Kevin Gausman: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
  • Nick Additon: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
  • Brad Brach: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Notes
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Bowie 6 , 3 Akron Opponent Location Time Starter
6 – 2 Box Score Akron Rubber Ducks Away 6:35 PM Tim Berry
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
 Carolina 4, Frederick 3 Opponent Location Time Starter
2 – 5 Box Score Carolina Mudcats Home 7:00 PM Brady Wager
Notes
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Greensboro 4 , 6 Delmarva Opponent Location Time Starter
4 – 4 Box Score Greensboro Grasshoppers Home  7:05 PM Mitch Horacek
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Opponent Location Time Starter
- - - - - -
Notes
 Season begins in June

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Minor League Scores – 4/9/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/09/minor-league-scores-4914/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/09/minor-league-scores-4914/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 02:43:39 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14722 Eduardo Rodriguez has mixed results in his second start for Bowie

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Today’s Result Tomorrow  Gwinnett 4 , 3 Norfolk Opponent Location Time Starter 1 – 5 Box Score  Gwinnett Braves Home  12:05 PM Kevin Gausman Notes
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Richmond 5 , 1 Bowie Opponent Location Time Starter
5 – 2 Box Score Akron Rubber Ducks Away 6:35 PM Tyler Wilson
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
 Carolina 9, Frederick 2 Opponent Location Time Starter
2 – 4 Box Score Carolina Mudcats Home 7:00 PM Matt Taylor
Notes
Today’s Result Tomorrow
 Delmarva 2 , 10 Hagerstown Opponent Location Time Starter
3 – 4 Box Score Hagerstown Suns Home  7:05 PM Hunter Harvey
Notes:
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Opponent Location Time Starter
- - - - - -
Notes
 Season begins in June

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Minor League Scores – 4/8/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/08/minor-league-score-4814/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/08/minor-league-score-4814/#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 02:35:08 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14718 Suk-Min Yoon had a rough debut for the Norfolk Tides.

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Today’s Result Tomorrow  Gwinnett 10 , 5 Norfolk Opponent Location Time Starter 1 – 4 Box Score  Gwinnett Braves Home  6:35 PM Mike Wright
  • Henry Urrutia: 2-5, 2 K
  • Chris Marrero: 1-5, RBI, K
  • Brett Wallace: 1-4, K
  • Cord Phelps: 0-3, 2 BB
  • Suk-min Yoon: 2.1 IP, 11 H, 9 R, 1 BB, 1 HR
  • Eddie Gamboa: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 5 K
  • Brad Brach: 1.0, 3 H, 1 R, 2 K
Notes
Today’s Result: Game 1 Tomorrow
Richmond 5 , 3 Bowie Opponent Location Time Starter
4-1 Box Score Richmond Flying Squirrels Home 11:05 AM Eduardo Rodriguez
Notes: 7 Inning Game
Today’s Result: Game 2 Tomorrow
Richmond 1 , 2 Bowie Opponent Location Time Starter
5-1 Box Score Richmond Flying Squirrels Home 11:05 AM Eduardo Rodriguez
  • Buck Britton: 2-3, 2B, BB
  • Dariel Alvarez: 2-3
  • Sharlon Schoop: 2-3, K
  • Christian Walker: 0-3, K
  • Michael Ohlman: 0-3, 2 K
  • Matt Bischoff: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 6 K, 1 HR
  • Oliver Drake: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K
Notes: Makeup of 4/7 postponed game, 7 Inning Game
Today’s Result Tomorrow
 Carolina 7, Frederick 0 Opponent Location Time Starter
2 – 3 Box Score Carolina Mudcats Home 7:00 PM Parker Bridwell
Notes
Today’s Result: Game 1 Tomorrow
 Delmarva 2 , 10 Hagerstown Opponent Location Time Starter
2 – 3 Box Score Hagerstown Suns Away  6:35 PM Steven Brault
Notes: 7 Inning Game
Today’s Result: Game 2 Tomorrow
 Delmarva 1 , 7 Hagerstown Opponent Location Time Starter
2 – 4 Box Score Hagerstown Suns Away  6:35 PM Steven Brault
Notes: Makeup of 4/7 postponed game, 7 Inning Game
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Opponent Location Time Starter
- - - - - -
Notes
 Season begins in June

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Minor League Scores – 4/7/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/07/minor-league-scores-4714/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/07/minor-league-scores-4714/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 23:53:50 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14715 All four minor league affiliates were rained out on Monday.

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Today’s Result Tomorrow Opponent Location Time Starter 1 – 3 POSTPONED  Gwinnett Braves Home  6:35 PM Suk-Min Yoon Notes
  •  The game is rescheduled for Friday, July 11, and will be made up as part of a doubleheader.
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Opponent Location Time Starter
4-0 POSTPONED Richmond Flying Squirrels Home 5:35 PM Game 1: Jake Pettit   Game 2: Matt Bischoff
Notes
  •  Tonight’s game will be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow. Both games will be 7 innings.
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Opponent Location Time Starter
2 – 2 POSTPONED Carolina Mudcats Home 7:00 PM Branden Kline
Notes
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Opponent Location Time Starter
2 – 2 POSTPONED Hagerstown Suns Away  5:05 PM Game 1: Austin Urban  Game 2: Luc Rennie
Notes
  • Tonight’s game will be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow. Both games will be 7 innings.
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Opponent Location Time Starter
- - - - - -
Notes
 Season begins in June

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Baysox Opening Series Scouting Notes http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/07/baysox-opening-series-notes/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/07/baysox-opening-series-notes/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 11:24:17 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14701 Notes on Tyler Wilson, Tim Berry and Zach Davies from the Baysox opening series

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Tucker Blair and Brad Clark were in Bowie for the opening series. Here are their thoughts on Tyler Wilson, Tim Berry and Zach Davies.

Tyler Wilson (4/4/14)

Wilson was solid in his season debut, putting together a line of 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K. He still has a methodical delivery in which it looks like some effort is required to continually click on all cylinders. Nevertheless, Wilson has definitely improved his arm action since last year and shown that he can still continue on as a starter. Wilson has three pitches (Fastball, Curveball, Changeup), and he used all three well in this outing.

His fastball sat 90-93 and topped out at 94 mph. He was commanding his fastball extremely well, pounding hitters all over the zone. The change and curve are respectable offerings that he can command. They both are fringe, but he is able to mix and match appropriately. I think Tyler Wilson is a reliever down the road, with the delivery being the main concern. The overall arsenal is not great, but the command will get him to the next level eventually. Wilson is probably at his peak at this point in terms of growth and development in the minors. All he can learn at this point is how to become a smarter pitcher; and he is already a very smart guy on the mound. — Tucker Blair

Tim Berry (4/5/14)

Berry relied mostly on an average fastball that sat 91-93 MPH. He was able to command the pitch well throughout his outing, and he showed he could reach back for a little extra juice as he hit 96 on the gun a couple of times without losing his command, including on his last pitch of the game to strike out Senators left fielder Destin Hood (0-4, 2K). Though Berry’s fastball is a good pitch made even better by his command of it, the fastball is a little bit flat, which could be a concern as he moves up the ranks.

Berry’s second most used pitch was a changeup that was effective, but that he struggled to control, often missing low. When Berry hit his spots with the change and it was juxtaposed well against his fastball, the pitch certainly had its intended effect, making batters swing early for strikes and inducing weak contact for some easy outs.

The clear shining star in Berry’s arsenal, however, is his curveball. The curve has a nice long 11-5 break that starts deep inside on left handed batters. The more impressive aspect of the pitch, however, was Berry’s ability to command it inside and outside of the zone to get strikes. He can use it well as an out pitch to left handed hitters when he gets them in pitcher’s counts, but he also showed that he wasn’t afraid to sail one in on the first pitch of an at-bat. The pitch is a solid 60 on the 20-80 scale.

Berry’s delivery was also impressive. His motions are fluid and smooth and he repeats them well. He generates good momentum toward the plate and keeps his head over his center of mass throughout his delivery. He lands balanced and ready to field his position, which he had to do more than once on Saturday.

Despite his impressive performance, I think that Berry most likely projects as a reliever, with upside as a starter if he can fix his inconsistency issues. His three pitch arsenal is shallow for a Major League starter and, as I mentioned before, the fastball does not have much movement and is therefore susceptible to being connected with by Major League hitters. That said, I think the small arsenal and the average fastball can play in the bullpen if he can learn to command the changeup the way he does his other pitches. As a left handed pitcher with a plus curve and solid command Berry is a valuable commodity that—with some minor improvements—can certainly contribute at the Major League level. — Brad Clark

Zach Davies (4/6/14)

Welcome to Bowie, Zach. The young pitcher had a relatively solid debut in AA, putting together a line of  5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K. To make things more interesting, Dan Duquette was in attendance.

Davies has a quick arm with good and clean mechanics. For his small stature, he is able to use his body to its max effort without exerting too much energy. His fastball has some late life and run on it, and he usually commands it well. The fastball was a little inconsistent on Sunday in terms of command, but I’ve seen him enough to know this is the aberration and not the common theme. His change looked the best that I have ever seen. He was sitting 78-81 with this pitch and it showed plus fade with pure sexiness. This is his best pitch by far, and he is able to throw it in any count, to any batter. He registered four of his five strikeouts on this pitch. The change will get him to the next level, and I think it has potential to be a plus pitch. The curveball was solid, with an 11-5 spin and some late tilt. It’s a good pitch that he can command very well for the typical inconsistencies of a curveball. I don’t recall seeing him throw his slider on the day.

Overall, Davies was very solid in his debut, even without the fastball command. He was able to use his changeup to off-set this problem and was very solid in the middle part of his outing. The margin for error with his game is typically small, as he does not overpower hitters. However, I think he is one of those pitchers that knows how to carve up a batter. I was impressed by his debut at Bowie and think it was a tremendous learning experience. — Tucker Blair

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Minor League Scores – 4/6/14 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/06/minor-league-scores-46/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/06/minor-league-scores-46/#comments Sun, 06 Apr 2014 21:31:11 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14700 Zach Davies had a solid debut with Bowie on Sunday afternoon

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Today’s Result Tomorrow  Charlotte 2 , 1 Norfolk Opponent Location Time Starter 1 – 3 Box Score  Gwinnett Braves Home  1:05 PM Suk-Min Yoon
  • T.J. McFarland: 5.0 IP, 4H, 1R, 0 BB, 5 K
  • Henry Urrutia: 0-4
  • Chris Marrero: 0-4, 3K
  • Brett Wallace: 1-4, 2B, K
  • Cord Phelps: 1-4
  • Jemile Weeks: 1-3, BB, K
Notes
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Harrisburg 5 , 10 Bowie Opponent Location Time Starter
4-0 Box Score Richmond Flying Squirrels Home 6:35 PM Jake Pettit
Notes
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Frederick 6 , 2 Lynchburg Opponent Location Time Starter
2 – 2 Box Score Carolina Mudcats Home 7:00 PM Branden Kline
Notes
Today’s Result Tomorrow
 Delmarva 4 , 2 Asheville Opponent Location Time Starter
2 – 2 Box Score Hagerstown Suns Away  6:35 PM Austin Urban
Notes
Today’s Result Tomorrow
Opponent Location Time Starter
- - - - - -
Notes
 Season begins in June

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ON Mailbag 3/31 – 4/6 http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/06/mailbag-331-46/ http://orioles-nation.com/2014/04/06/mailbag-331-46/#comments Sun, 06 Apr 2014 15:51:51 +0000 http://orioles-nation.com/?p=14699 Questions submitted to Orioles Nation for the Weekly Mailbag for the week of 3/31 - 4/6. Topics include Majors, Minors, Transactions, etc.

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Welcome to the Orioles Nation Mailbag. If you have future questions, you can submit them here:

All major league questions answered by Alex Conway.
All minor league questions answered by Tucker Blair.

Can you try to explain the discrepancy that MLB analysts think the O’s could win 93 games, but projection systems think closer to 79-80?
Projection systems and MLB analysts really are not that different when it comes down to it. Both sides take in information and try to guess what the record will be based upon that information. The analyst side is certainly less exact and less mathematically inclined, but often that does not mean it is any less accurate. Analysts have flaws in their own biases and knowledge base. Projection systems have flaws in that they are based off of past performance meaning they are unable to typically predict when a player will progress or regress, projection systems can make incorrect playing time allotments based off of injuries, and a myriad of other problems that lie in trying to simply the complicated. Lastly, both analysts and projections systems cannot account for luck, or random statistical variance, reducing the value of any prediction. – Alex

What are your thoughts on the Baysox team so far? Especially Michael Ohlman
Through the first series, the Bowie Baysox have looked tremendous against the Harrisburg Senators (Nationals). Strong pitching performances by Tyler Wilson and Tim Berry, along with Eduardo Rodriguez‘s pure talent. The bullpen has also been solid, with Juan Morillo and Fabio Castillo touching upper 90′s with their fastball. Overall, the pitching has been terrific. On the offensive side, they have been knocking the cover off the ball, along with having some great AB’s. This team does not have a ton of prospects on the offensive side, and mostly consists of a minor-league veteran-heavy lineup.

Michael Ohlman has looked great at the plate, showing that his plate approach will carry over to the next level. I wrote a report on Ohlman a few weeks ago, and not much has really changed. I truly think he can hit at the MLB level. The defense has been up and down at Bowie so far. The footwork is still an issue, and has effected a few of opportunities to block wild pitches. It is early in, but the defense is easily his main concern at this point. – Tucker

First time through the rotation, what are your thoughts?
First and foremost, it is only one time through the rotation so nothing is set in stone quite yet. That being said, the Orioles’ starters have not inspired much confidence. They are not quite this bad, but they are pitching up in the zone too much and throwing too many pitches. Even Tillman was up all game long, he just was not burned as bad as the others. The short outings are beginning to tax the bullpen already and the same problems as last year are beginning to creep up. Judgments should wait to be levied until at least another couple of starts. However, if the rotation does not turn around this team will be plagued once again by the same problems it had last season – Alex

Any concern that Josh Hart is batting .000 so far?
No, it has been three games. Mike Trout will have a stretch where he doesn’t get a hit in three games. Baseball is hard, and Hart is a raw bat with plenty of adjustments and growth needed at the Low-A level still. Relax, at least wait a month before getting worried. – Tucker

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