May 2009

Affiliate Roundup

Been a tough go here in West Virginia for Delmarva but spirits are still pretty high.  The guys realize they need to put an end to this losing streak. 

Every so often, I like to take a look at the other Orioles affiliates just to get a sense of what everyone else is doing.  It is also good to know who is hot and who is not for promotion and demotion purposes.

Last night, Norfolk won 4-2, Bowie split a doubleheader with Erie and Frederick beat Kinston 6-4 in 10 innings.

Norfolk – The Tides are 22-12, which is good for first place in the International League South.  Matt Wieters is finding the power stroke.  He hit another home run yesterday and now has four on the season.  Oscar Salazar is hitting .370 with six homers and 29 RBI.  I would imagine that Chris Tillman will get a shot in Baltimore, he is currently 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA in triple-A.

Bowie – The BaySox are 15-18, which places them fourth in the Eastern League Southern division.  First baseman Brandon Snyder is on fire for Bowie.  He is hitting .376 with five home runs and 26 RBI.  Infielder Melvin Dorta is hitting .327.  Jake Arrieta, Bobby Livingston and Troy Patton are all 3-1 on the mound.

Frederick – The Keys are 16-19, which is last in the Carolina League Northern division. Matt Tucker is leading the team in batting average at .328.  Kraig Binick is supplying the power with five home runs and 21 RBI.  Brian Matusz, the Orioles first round pick, is 2-2 with a 2.95 ERA.

Aberdeen starts play on June 19th.  Once they begin, get ready for a lot of promotions and demotions. 

There is a little mexican restaurant near the hotel that I am going to try today.  Can’t really go wrong with mexican food in my mind.

Until next time, Go Shorebirds!

Orioles Draft History

I was doing some research yesterday on the Orioles draft history with the First Year Player Draft rapidly approaching (June 9th).  The Orioles have the fourth overall pick in the first round.  They do not have a supplemental first round pick. 

Just one of the first round picks in this decade is currently playing for the Baltimore Orioles (Nick Markakis). Eight of them are either in a different organization or no longer playing professional baseball.  The good news is that the recent crop of first rounders may in fact pan out to assist the Orioles in the very near future. 

Below are the first round selections of the Orioles and a little bit about where they are now.

2008 – Brian Matusz – Currently pitching for the Frederick Keys (Advanced- A).  He is 2-2 with a 2.95 ERA.  He has struck out an impressive 51 batters in in 39.2 innings.

2007 – Matt Wieters – Currently playing for the Norfolk Tides (AAA).  He is hitting .270 with three homers and 16 RBI.  I found a recent quote from Dave Trembley about a time table for his call up to the big leagues.  “Matt Wieters is healthy,” he said. “We’re aware of what he’s doing. I’m sure his time is coming. I just don’t know when. I think we’d all have to be living in a cave somewhere to not be aware of his progress and follow what he’s doing. I can’t speculate or say when he’s going to join our club. Right now, he’s playing for our Triple-A club and doing quite well.” (Courtesy of Spencer Fordins blog).

2006 – William Rowell – Currently playing in Frederick (Advanced – A).  He is hitting .285 with four homers and 16 RBIs.  Rowell is repeating the Advanced-A level.  Last year, he hit just .248 for the Keys.  He hit .273 in Delmarva in 2007.

2006 – Pedro Beato – Currently pitching in Frederick (Advanced – A).  Beato is 1-3 with a 4.85 ERA in six starts this year.  Like Rowell, he is also repeating the Advanced-A level.  Last year, he went just 4-10 with a 5.85 ERA for the Keys.  In 2007, he went 7-8 with a 4.05 ERA for Delmarva.

2005 – Brandon Snyder – Currently playing for the Bowie Baysox (AA).  Snyder is hitting an outstanding .369 with four homers and 22 RBIs.  He already has 12 multi-hit games through 30 total games.  Snyder hit .315 for the Keys last year and .283 for Delmarva in 2007.

2005 – Garrett Olsen – Currently pitching in the big leagues for the Seattle Mariners.  Through three relief outings, he has a 0-0 mark with a 2.57 ERA.  Started the year with the Tacoma Rainiers (AAA).  Went 9-10 last season for the Orioles in 26 starts.  Olsen was traded out of the Orioles organization in January for Felix Pie.

2004 – Wade Townsend – Had played in a game this season.  Last season, he played for Vero Beach (Advanced-A) and went 0-4 with a 5.28 ERA.  The Orioles were never able to agree on a contract with Townsend so he went back to Rice.  The Rays actually drafted him with first round pick the following season.

2003 – Nick Markakis – Currently playing for the Baltimore Orioles.  Off to a great start, hitting .346 with six homers and 33 RBIs.  Markakis played in the minors for only three seasons.  He hit .299 with 11 homers and 64 RBIs for Delmarva in 2004.  He has been in the bigs since 2006 with the Orioles. 

2002 – Adam Loewen – Currently playing for the Dunedin Blue Jays (Advanced-A) in the Florida State League.  Loewen pitched for the Orioles during parts of three seasons.  In 2008, he decided that he wanted to transition to the outfield.  The Orioles released him from his big league contract and he signed a minor league deal with the Jays.  He is hitting just .212 in 18 games.

2001 – Christopher Smith – Currently the closer for the Nashville Sounds (AAA) – Milwaukee Brewers.  He has picked up eight saves and has an ERA of just 1.27.

2001 – Michael Fontenot – Currently the second baseman for the Chicago Cubs.  Hitting .218 with five homers and 17 RBI in 31 games.  Played in the Orioles farm system for just two seasons.  Fontenot was traded in 2005 as part of the Sammy Sosa deal.

2001 – Allan Bass – Could not find much at all about Bass.  He has not played in a game this season. 

2000 – Beau Hale –  Last season in baseball was 2007.  His injury plagued career never progressed beyond Bowie (AA).  Hale finished with a record of 25-28 and an ERA of 4.31.  Never played for the Shorebirds.

2000 – Tripper Johnson – No longer playing in the minor leagues.  Spent eight seasons in the minors (last season in the Pirates organization).  He never advanced past Bowie (AA).  He .260 in Delmarva back in 2002.





The Toast Man

I talked a little bit about the “Toast Man” at the West Virginia Power games on the broadcast tonight.  Here are a couple pictures so you can get a visual of what I’m actually talking about.  I’m not going to pass judgement here- not my place.  But, he really stands out at Appalachian Power Park so it is worth a blog. 

Toast Man.jpg

This is from Wikipedia

One unique feature of the park is an electrical outlet located in the backstop behind home plate. This was added to accommodate local businessman Rod Blackstone, nicknamed the “Toast Man,” who has become one of the most famous fans in minor league baseball. Blackstone brings numerous signs to urge the team on, and regularly leads the crowd in family-friendly cheers. He is most famous for bringing bread and a toaster to games, which he had done for years for the Power’s predecessors. When a Power pitcher strikes out a batter, he yells “You are toast!” and then tosses slices of fresh toast into the seats around him. There is also a special section behind third base known as “Rowdy Alley”.

Toast man.jpg

Packing Checklist

I was down in the clubhouse just a moment ago and I noticed our Strength Coach (E. Browne) packing his storage unit for the road trip.

Here is a list of things that he takes on every trip:

  • Two boxes of bats (probably 10 in each)
  • Jump Rope
  • Dumbells (ranging from 10 pounds to 30 pounds)
  • Medicine Ball
  • Laundry bags
  • 2 Extra Alternate, BP and Road uniforms (#26 and #43)
  • Five Extra Hats
  • Cuff Weights
  • Air Pump (to inflate core ball)
  • Weight Vest

As you can probably imagine with all the weights, the unit weighs a ton.  It takes two people to load it on the bus.  They have two big storage units that they take on the bus. 

Just thought you may be interested to some of the things the team travels with. 

The checklist is pretty easy for yours truly.

  • Scorebook
  • Highlighters/white out/scissors/pencil/pens
  • Recorder
  • USB cord
  • Media Guides (O’s/Prospect Handbook)
  • Computer/Power Cord
  • Cell Phone Charger (Already lost one in Lakewood)
  • Toiletries
  • Plenty of extra clothes

Bus leaves at 2:00 PM

Until next time, Go Shorebirds!


Salisbury Hosting Regionals Here

I am sitting up here watching the Salisbury University Sea Gulls practice prior to their first game in the Division III Regionals tomorrow.  The Shorebirds just lost 10-5.


The No. 3 Salisbury University baseball team will serve as a Division III regional host as the Sea Gulls make their 10th straight and 15th overall NCAA tournament appearance as the field was released Monday by the selection committee. The Sea Gulls are the top-seed in the eight-team South Regional held at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium, home of the Delmarva Shorebirds, in Salisbury, Md.

In case you are wondering, the eight teams are: second-seed Shenandoah University, third-seed North Carolina Wesleyan College, fourth-seed Christopher Newport University, fifth-seed Washington & Jefferson University, six-seed York (Pa.) College, seventh-seed Johns Hopkins University and eighth-seed Washington & Lee University.

Right now, Chris Bitters (GM) is walking around with officials from Salisbury and from the participating schools going over ground rules and things of that nature.  No break whatsoever for the front office staff that worked the entire homestand.

By the way, it was weird hearing the ping of the metal bat when the Salisbury coach was hitting infield practice.  I am so used to the wooden-bats at this point. 

In case you haven’t had enough baseball on the Eastern Shore over the last week, you can check out some more baseball even with the ‘Birds on the road.

The Power are also hosting some sort of college baseball tournament while we will be there.  Andy Barch, West Virginia’s radio broadcaster, told me today that there will be no batting practice on the field on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.  The Shorebirds will hit in the cages. 

I think we are leaving at around 3:00 PM or so.  It’s been a long, long homestand- I am ready to hit the road. 

Until West Virginia, Go Shorebirds!



McCurry Article in Baltimore Sun

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun contacted me last week to figure out who should be their minor league spotlight this week from Delmarva.  He had three guys in mind.  After some deliberation and the fact that McCurry has been dynamite this season and in his latest outing, Dan decided to feature McCurry.

The article really dives into McCurry’s background and how he has been able to advance through the Orioles farm system after being selected in the 43rd round a couple seasons ago.

Dan contacted both Blaine Beatty and David Stockstill (Director of Player Development) for this article. 

The article came out at the perfect time, McCurry makes the start tonight for Delmarva.

I have linked the article below. 


Until next time, Go Shorebirds!


Random Thoughts and Notes

Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there first and foremost!

I don’t have one specific thing that I want to touch on so I figured I’d throw out a schmorgisboard

  • The Shorebirds are now 17-10, which is the best record in the league
  • The Shorebirds have a two game lead over Lakewood in the North
  • Xavier Avery is 10 for his last 19 and on a five game hitting streak
  • The Shorebirds are on a four-game winning streak, which is their longest of the season
  • Rick Zagone’s 7.1 innings against Greensboro is a season long for the pitching staff
  • The Shorebirds have won their last four games by a combined score of 23-2
  • Luis Bernardo recorded his first multi-hit game of the season against Greensboro (3-4)
  • Shorebirds reliever Raul Rivero has not allowed a run in his last 10 innings (five appearances)

Random thoughts

  • Brian Records (clubhouse helper) made pancakes and eggs today before the game for the players (he gave me a plate- delicious)
  • Leaving for West Virginia on Wednesday afternoon at 12
  • No tarp pulls today!

Thats all I have.  I am starving…game just ended a bit ago.

Until next time, Go Shorebirds!


Game Suspended

Wow, we just got pelted by a torrential storm.  The game will resume on Sunday at 2:05.  We will then play a seven-inning game following.

Here is the pitching situation:

Rick Zagone will pick up the resumed game for Delmarva, while Kyle Kaminska will do the same for Greensboro.  Colin Allen will start the seven inning game, while Bryan Evans will go for Greensboro. 

The tarp went flying in the outfield when the front office staff did all they could to try and put it over the infield.  Kudos the entire Shorebirds front office staff for getting out there and fighting through the storm!  It was a vicious storm.

Until next time, Go Shorebirds!

Two Triples in One Game

In game three last night, Xavier Avery connected on two triples.  I thought that was a pretty rare occurence, so I decided to go back and find the last time that it happened for the Shorebirds.  It’s so rare that I couldn’t find the last time it happened.  I browsed the day-by-days for the triples leaders since 1999 and nobody had done it for the Shorebirds.

Tim Raines in 1999 never did it. Willie Harris in 2000 never did it.  B.J. Littleton in 2001 never did it.  Littleton is the single-season leader in triples in Shorebirds history with 18.

I asked the folks at Minor League Baseball to help me out.  In 2009 alone, there have been 20 cases around Minor League Baseball where a player has recorded two triples.  So, I guess its not that rare after all.

If you know that it has happened in Shorebirds history, feel free to let me know.  There certainly could have been a night in the last 14 years where someone not known for triples had two.

5/7/2009     Xavier Avery Delmarva
5/6/2009     Chris Nelson Tulsa
5/5/2009     Jon Del Campo Lansing
5/2/2009      Don Kelly Toledo
5/2/2009      Jon Owings Myrtle Beach
4/30/2009      Carlos Gonzalez Colorado Springs
4/27/2009      Daniel Descalso Springfield
4/25/2009      Collin Cowgill Visalia
4/24/2009      Harold Garcia Lakewood
4/23/2009      Alex Romero Reno
4/22/2009      Osvaldo Martinez Jupiter
4/19/2009      Kuo Hui Lo High Desert
4/18/2009      Damon Sublett Tampa
4/15/2009      David Adams Charleston
4/14/2009      Adron Chambers Palm Beach
4/12/2009      Jose Munoz Saltillo
4/12/2009      Eduardo Perez Inland Empire
4/8/2009      Scott Sizemore Erie
4/1/2009      Donzell McDonald Monclova
3/26/2009      Donzell McDonald Monclova

Nathan Moreau Pitched in CWS

The newest pitcher added to the Shorebirds is Nathan Moreau.  He is starting tonight in Nate Nery’s rotation spot.  Nathan pitched for the University of Georgia in the College World Series last year.  He actually pitched in the decisive game three against Fresno State.  The Bulldogs lost the game 6-1 but Moreau pitched admirably.



If one thing is for sure, Moreau will have no problem handling the spotlight.  Game three of the CWS drew 18.932 fans to Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska.

Until next time, Go Shorebirds!