The search for Henry Urrutia (and me)

I’m preparing to leave the house and fight the traffic to Camden Yards, where I hope to make it before the seventh inning stretch.

Rush hour mixed with road closures for the Grand Prix figure to complicate my morning.

I’m packing a snack in case it takes longer than expected. And a lunch.

Anyway, I wanted to pass along an update on Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia, since I’ve been asked about him frequently on this blog and Twitter.

Urrutia is back in Haiti, where he established residency after defecting from Cuba. He spent a few weeks at the Orioles’ Dominican academy, but there aren’t any games for him to play.

The Orioles wanted to bring Urrutia, 25, to Sarasota and later assign him to Double-A Bowie, but visa issues have slowed the process. He’s stuck in a different kind of traffic.

Urrutia, who received a $778,500 bonus, batted .397/.461/.597 with 12 homers, 32 walks and 23 strikeouts in 305 at-bats in his final season in Cuba.

Urrutia played for Las Tunas in the Cuban League from 2006 to 2010. He batted .350 with 72 doubles, nine triples, 33 home runs, 219 RBIs and 209 runs. He also represented Cuba in the 2010 World Championships.

The 6-foot-5, 195-pound switch-hitter didn’t play in 2011 due to a suspension after an unsuccessful attempt at defection.

Here’s a brief scouting report on Urrutia from last month.

Update: I made it to the ballpark in about 1:15. It usually takes me 30-40 minutes from Sykesville.

It would have been quicker if not for the accident on I-95 that closed three lanes. Nice timing.

Anyway, I’m the only person in the press box besides the attendants. Maybe I’m a little too early.

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