Minor League Recap: July 14-July 20

It’s been a while since the last minor league recap (almost two months!), but I can promise you that I have some really good excuses. The first excuse is that I was out of country on my honeymoon. Yes, it’s true that I have been married for a little while now (apologies to all of those single ladies who read this blog on a regular basis, I know there are a lot of you), but we hadn’t had the opportunity to go on one until this past June. I was then tied up with my actual job that pays me way more money than I get for operating this site, so, you know, priorities. I had thought about doing one giant minor league update, but quickly reconsidered when I realized just how much work that would entail. So I decided it was best just to not cover the last 6 weeks of Orioles minor league baseball. Let’s face it, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter.

In actual Orioles minor league baseball news, the big story of last week was the promotions of 1B Christian Walker and recent Futures Game representative OF Dariel Alvarez to AAA, as well as the promotion of OF Mike Yastrzemski to AA. That’s great news for them, as they’re one step closer to their major league dreams. But don’t go thinking that they’re actual prospects all of a sudden. With the respective All-Star games last week, it was a short one, so let’s get on to the recap…

Weekly Summary

Norfolk (AAA): 3-1 (W-L), 16 RS, 22 RA

Bowie (AA): 2-2, 14 RS, 13 RA

Frederick (High-A): 3-2, 19 RS, 21 RA

The Good:

Hitters

Norfolk (AAA): 3B Cord Phelps – 5/11 (H/AB), 1 HR, 5 BB’s, 1 SO

Alvarez’s first full week in AAA was forgettable, but Walker hit well. In fact, he hit well enough that he was almost chosen as the hitter of the week. Alas, it was not meant to be as Phelps had more total bases than Walker, with the same number of walks and fewer strikeouts.

Bowie (AA): OF Mike Yastrzemski – 6/17, 2 2B’s, 1 3B, 1 BB, 1 SO

Instead of NOT being the best hitter last week after his shiny new promotion (I’m looking at you Walker and Alvarez), Yastrzemski kept the good times rolling with a stellar first week in Bowie. Editor’s note: It’s been so long since I’ve done a minor league recap, that Yastrzemski wasn’t even on the Frederick Keys roster when I wrote the last one.

Frederick (High-A): OF Michael Burgess – 7/17, 3 2B’s, 4 BB’s, 2 SO’s

Burgess had another great week in Frederick and gets the nod here in a landslide. He got a bit of good news yesterday as he and Orioles Proving Ground Minor League Recap favorite Glynn Davis got promoted to AA.

Burgess has a triple slash line of .315/.366/.579 (AVG/OBP/SLG) for the Keys this year, so the call-up is warranted. However, don’t get your hopes up. Burgess is 25 years old, and already has 824 PA’s at the AA level, where he’s previously hit an uninspiring .237/.323/.426. May this serve as a reminder that the jump from High-A to AA is a hard one to make.

Pitchers

Norfolk (AAA): LHP Nick Additon – 3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 SO’s, 1 BB

It was a pretty uninspiring week for the Norfolk pitchers, especially the starters. Additon gets the nod here as he only gave up one hit and one walk in 3.1 innings. I almost wanted to choose Robert Coello, but giving up 5 unearned runs in 1.2 innings is not good (even if they were technically not charged to him).

Bowie (AA): LHP Jason Gurka – 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 SO’s, 0 BB’s

The Eastern League got Gurka’d this week! Four strikeouts in 1.2 innings are nice. In other news, no one else on the team pitched well enough (or enough, period) to match him.

Frederick (High-A): RHP Dennis Torres – 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 SO’s, 0 BB’s

Who is Dennis Torres? He’s another guy who wasn’t on any of the 3 rosters the last time we had a minor league recap. According to Baseball-Reference, he’s a 24 year old reliever who the Orioles drafted in the 28th round of the 2012 Rule 4 Draft out of UMASS Amherst. He’s got a 3.00 ERA in 18 High-A innings pitched (that’s good). He’s also allowed 29 baserunners during that same time (that’s bad). Savor this moment Dennis, it may get ugly (although I hope it doesn’t).

The Bad:

Hitters

Norfolk (AAA): 3B Buck Britton – 1/10, 2 BB’s, 3 SO’s

After a hot start to the season in AA, Britton has been ok in AAA. Last week was not one to remember though.

Bowie (AA): C Michael Ohlman – 0/11, 1 BB, 1 SO

Ohlman gets the collar, and therefore he also gets this dubious distinction. Remember long ago when he had a good week and I mentioned in the recap that it was a good sign?  Well it looks like he KIND OF did with a .301/.344/.386 month of June. However, his July (.211/.220/.298) has been almost as bad as his April, which was pretty putrid.

Frederick (High-A): 1B Trey Mancini – 1/15, 1 BB, 5 SO’s

Who is Trey Mancini? Other than my assumption that his family owns a pizza shop in a small town (called Mancini’s, of course), he is a 22 year old first baseman. The Orioles drafted him out of Notre Dame last year in the 8th round. A successful stint at Delmarva that appears to be fueled by batting average led to his promotion to Frederick on June 19, which has to date, not gone so well. Last week was not any different. With the light hitting Joel Hutter the only other first baseman on the Keys’ roster, Mancini will probably get some time to turn things around.

Pitchers

Norfolk (AAA): RHP Mike Wright – 4.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 3 SO’s, 2 BB’s, 1 HR

As you’ll see, it was not a good week for Orioles pitching prospects. Wright starts it off with another terrible week. I’m not sure what is going on with him this year, but he’s been completely ineffective. He now has a 6.42 ERA in 95.1 innings pitched during the 2014 AAA season.

Bowie (AA): LHP Eduardo Rodriguez – 4.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 SO’s, 2 BB’s, 1 HR

We continue with Rodriguez. He’s not doing much better than Wright (5.15 ERA in 71.2 IP), but he was injured earlier this year, so we’ll cut him a little bit of slack.

Frederick (High-A): RHP Dylan Bundy – 4 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 1 SO, 2 BB’s

We finish up with Bundy, who had a pretty bad outing last week. We’ll cut him A LOT of slack seeing as this was only his 6th start back from Tommy John surgery. He’s also WELL ahead of schedule, so he has plenty of time to straighten things out. No one should be worried about this.

Transactions

Date Transaction
7/14/14 RHP Tim Alderson (AAA) released
7/14/14 LHP Randy Wolf (AAA) released
7/15/14 RHP Brady Wager promoted to High-A
7/15/14 OF Lucas Herbst promoted to High-A
7/15/14 RHP Mark Blackmar demoted to Short Season
7/16/14 OF Mike Yastrzemski promoted to AA
7/16/14 RHP Matt Price (High-A) placed on 7-day DL
7/17/14 1B Christian Walker promoted to AAA
7/17/14 OF Dariel Alvarez promoted to AAA
7/17/14 LHP Andy Loomis (AA) released
7/17/14 RHP Steven Hensley (AA) placed on inactive list
7/18/14 RHP Tyler Wilson (AAA) placed on inactive lst
7/18/14 RHP Jon Keller promoted to High-A
7/19/14 RHP Suk-min Yoon (AAA) activated from DL

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