Minor League Recap: May 19-May 25

If you’re reading this, then you already know…the minor league recap is a day late this week. Blame it on the holiday weekend, where my time was spent doing really important things that didn’t involve baseball. Don’t believe me? I didn’t even know that the Orioles traded for Nick Hundley until he made that throwing error against the Brewers in the bottom of the 9th inning on Monday night (I started watching the game only a couple of minutes before that). I’m not proud of that, but it’s the truth. In other news this week, the talents of Heath Bell were on display in Norfolk this past week. We looked at what the Orioles may expect from him last week. Obviously it’s only been a week (small sample alert), but the results in AAA have been worse than expected, as he gave up 4 earned runs in 3.2 innings, giving up 7 hits while walking 4. Yet somehow, he didn’t have the worst performance by a Norfolk pitcher.

Weekly Summary

Norfolk (AAA): 3-3 (W-L), 43 RS, 28 RA

Bowie (AA): 5-2, 44 RS, 33 RA

Frederick (High-A): 1-5, 16 RS, 25 RA

The Good:

Hitters

Norfolk (AAA): OF Quintin Berry – 8/21 (H/AB), 2 2B’s, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 BB’s, 3 SO’s

Berry had such a good week that he was named International League Player of the Week…

Wait, he wasn’t? I think the voters got that one wrong. Peguero had a great week and was very deserving of “my” award, but I think Berry was slightly better by hitting for slightly more power (Peguero’s extra base hits consisted of 3 doubles) and walking twice, compared to Peguero’s zero walks. So if Peguero makes fun of Berry for NOT winning the International League Player of the Week award last week (which I’m sure will happen if it hasn’t already), Berry can point to this blog post and reply with a witty comment.*

Bowie (AA): 1B Christian Walker – 8/24, 1 2B, 3 HR’s, 7 BB, 4 SO’s

It’s getting to the point where I can basically just pencil Walker’s name in this spot on a weekly basis. Walker is having a great season so far, as he leads the Eastern League with 14 home runs). The 7 walks may also indicate that he’s not only hitting the ball well, but he’s showing a patient approach in the process. Though it could also be the result of Eastern League pitchers not wanting to throw him as many strikes.

Frederick (High-A): IF Tucker Nathans – 7/17, 1 2B, 3 BB, 2 SO’s

It was a slow week offensively for the Keys as they only scored 16 runs in 6 games (2.67 runs per game), so there wasn’t a lot to choose from for this category. Nathans was easily the best of the group, even though his week wasn’t anything to get all that excited about.

*Sorry Quentin, witty comment will not be provided in this post (you’ll have to come up with one yourself)

Pitchers

Norfolk (AAA): RHP Kevin Gausman – 11.1 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 9 SO’s, 1 BB, 1 HR

Gausman did a nice job bouncing back last week after his recall to the major league club and his subsequent demotion (not technically a demotion as he was optioned back to AAA), which was just a bizarre sequence of events, and one that we briefly covered last week. In his two starts last week, Gausman pitched 5 innings and 6.1 innings, which is more than we’ve seen his AAA starts last all year. So either low pitch counts allowed him to work longer innings, or the club is trying to stretch him out a little more to handle a full time role in the Orioles rotation.

Bowie (AA): LHP Jason Gurka – 8 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 8 SO’s, 2 BB

Gurka had a good week, pitching 5 innings in a start, and then following it up later in the week with a 3 inning relief appearance. Both the runs Gurka allowed last week were unearned, and he’s been having a solid season so far. According to his player page on the Baysox website, he has a 2.26 ground out to air out ratio (GO/AO), so he’s been doing a good job getting groundballs. Don’t go looking for his Bowie player page, as he has since ascended…

…to AAA.

Frederick (High-A): RHP Branden Kline – 7 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 6 SO’s

Kline bounces back strong after a rough week and regains his place as the top pitcher in Frederick. I’m sure that not being selected last week as the best pitcher in Frederick just served as extra motivation for Kline, and I’ll assume that’s correct until he contacts me directly and tells me otherwise (via Twitter).

The Bad:

Hitters

Norfolk (AAA): 2B Buck Britton – 4/17, 0 BB’s, 2 SO’s

Norfolk scored a lot of runs, so nobody really had a terrible week, but Britton had the worst. Let’s not be too sympathetic though, as I don’t think anyone would call 4 hits in 17 at-bats (along with no walks) a decent week.

Bowie (AA): OF Chih-Hsien Chiang – 3/21, 1 2B, 2 BB’s, 2 SO’s

Unlike Branden Kline, Chiang does not appear to use these weekly selections on Orioles Proving Ground as motivation to play better the following week, as this is his second week in a row being chosen as the worst hitter for the Baysox. On the plus side, last week’s terrible week is a step up from the previous week’s terrible week.

Frederick (High-A): 2B Jerome Pena – 1/14, 1 BB, 8 SO’s

As I stated above, it was a bad week for Frederick’s offense as a unit, so there were a lot of candidates for this spot, including some of the usual cast of characters. Lucky for them, Pena only tallied one hit and had a strikeout rate greater than 50%.

Pitchers

Norfolk (AAA): RHP Mike Wright – 3.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 1 SO, 3 BB’s, 1 HR’s

Mike Wright got a little beat up in his one start for the Tides last week allowing 9 batters to reach base in just over 3 innings pitched.  Wright isn’t having a good season, with an ERA over 5 and a K/9 of just over 6.  Minor league statistics aren’t as meaningful as major league statistics, but AAA numbers aren’t useless, and we’re getting to the point where it may not be small sample issues.

Bowie (AA): RHP Oliver Drake – 2.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 2 SO’s, 1 BB’s

I don’t know exactly what happened during Drake’s outings last week, but allowing every batter who reached base safely to score is impressive.  Not the good kind of impressive, but impressive nonetheless.

Frederick (High-A):  LHP Lex Rutledge – 1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 0 SO’s, 2 BB’s, 1 HR

Rutledge only pitched one inning this week, but it wasn’t a good one as he allowed 2 walks and a hit, with the one hit allowed being a home run.  That’s a good way to get yourself demoted, and that’s exactly what happened as Rutledge was sent packing to Aberdeen on May 23rd.

Transactions

Date Transaction
5/20/2014 LHP Matt Taylor (High-A) placed on 7-day DL
5/21/2014 RHP Matt Hobgood (High-A) activated from DL
5/22/2014 LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (AA) activated from DL
5/22/2014 SS Sammie Starr promoted to High-A
5/22/2014 OF Lucas Herbst demoted to Low-A
5/22/2014 C Pedro Perez demoted to Low-A
5/22/2014 C Zane Chavez demoted to High-A
5/22/2014 RHP Preston Guilmet recalled to MLB
5/23/2014 LHP Ashur Tolliver promoted to High-A
5/23/2014 LHP Lex Rutledge demoted to Low-A
5/23/2014 LHP T.J. McFarland recalled to MLB
5/23/2014 RHP Preston Guilmet optioned to AAA
5/24/2014 C Pedro Perez promoted to High-A
5/24/2014 OF Michael Burgess demoted to Low-A
5/24/2014 2B Steve Lombardozzi recalled to MLB
5/24/2014 2B Alexi Casilla (AAA) placed on 7-day DL
5/24/2014 1B Chris Marrero (AAA) activated from DL
5/25/2014 RHP Preston Guilmet recalled to MLB
5/25/2014 2B Steve Lombardozzi optioned to AAA

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