With Miguel Gonzalez taking the mound tonight at Fenway Park - figuratively speaking, of course, since removing the actual mound would be both time consuming and some sort of Major League Baseball violation - I figured it was appropriate to pass along a few of the Orioles' international signings that may have flown under the radar.
Fred Ferreira, the Orioles' executive director of international recruiting, signed Gonzalez in early May after scouting him in the Mexican League and Caribbean World Series. He also signed Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia, who remains in Haiti while waiting for his visa.
Here are a few of Ferreira's recent signings:
Yeridolfo Lizardo, 17, 3B, Dominican Republic
Carlos Laureano, 17, OF, Dominican Republic
Yariel Vargas, 17, OF, Dominican Republic
Richard Colla, 17, SS, Venezuela
Cito LeFrank, 17, RHP, Dominican Republic
Pedro Mathis, 17, LHP, Dominican Republic
Ron Schreurs, 19, LHP, Brazil
Vargas is currently in the instructional league down in Sarasota.
"I like very much the power that Lizardo has shown, along with his above-average arm at third base," Ferreira said.
"Mathis is a young left-handed pitcher who is very mature and could move up quickly. Vargas and Laureano are good-looking outfielders who will be good hitters. LeFrank is a 6-foot-6 right-handed pitcher who's throwing presently in the low-to-mid 90's with an intimidating presence."
Ferreira was a key addition over the winter, as executive vice president Dan Duquette vowed that the Orioles would have a bigger presence in the international market. And he really hit the jackpot with Gonzalez, who will face the Red Sox - the organization that released him on Dec. 10, 2011 - tonight.
The Orioles are one game behind the Yankees in the American League East. Another big series awaits them.
I'm hopping on a 10 a.m. flight to Boston and will return to the blog once I've checked into my hotel.