Beato gets his shot at Double-A

When Brian Matusz left the Bowie Baysox for the Major Leagues, a rotation spot became open with the Double-A club.

The O's could have promoted lefty Zach Britton from Frederick. Britton, a real up and coming prospect, is 7-5, 2.68 this year with the Keys.

But instead, 22-year-old right hander Pedro Beato was moved up to Bowie and will make his first Double-A start tonight at New Hampshire.

David Stockstill, the O's Director of Player Development, said Beato has an experience edge over Britton and they had planned for Britton to spend the whole year at Frederick as this is his first season with that club.

The 6'6", 230-pound Beato went 5-7, 4.53 in 20 starts for the Keys, allowing 125 hits in 105 innings. He did pitch seven shutout innings in his last Frederick start last Wednesday.

Beato was a sandwich draft pick, taken 32nd overall in 2006, in a pick between the first and second round. The O's acquired the pick as compensation for Toronto signing free agent B.J. Ryan.

Beato at times has frustrated the O's minor league brass. His talents have yet to produce big-time results or stats. Beato was throwing in the mid 90's in 2006 at Aberdeen but now his fastball velocity is inconsistent and can go anywhere from 89 to around 94.

Maybe the Bowie move will be a second chance for Beato. The young man at times has seemed to want to throw just about anything but his fastball.

Now he's getting promoted despite going a combined 9-17, 5.16 the last two seasons with Frederick.

"We thought Beato would be at Double-A at some point this year. We almost moved him around the all-star break, but he wasn't quite ready then," Stockstill said. "Now he needs to show us what he can at that level."

"He needs to become more consistent. I've seen him pitch five or six times this year. He'll have three great innings and three that are so-so."

Again this year at times, Beato has gotten away from using what is a pretty solid fastball.

"He has a lot of confidence in all his (non fastball) pitches, he certainly doesn't lack confidence in his pitches, but he has to learn to establish that fastball first. When you get away from using your fastball enough, you can lose some velocity with it.

"We've kind of thrown out a challenge to him (by moving him to AA). Let's see if he rises to the challenge," Stockstill said.

Here are the current rotations for the top four O's farm clubs, starting with tonight's games:

Triple-A Norfolk: Troy Patton, David Pauley, Radhames Liz, Jake Arrieta and Andy Mitchell.

Double-A Bowie: Pedro Beato, Brandon Erbe, Tim Bascom, Steve Johnson and Ryohei Tanaka.

Single-A Frederick: Sean Gleason, Zach Britton, Rick Zagone, Nate Nery and Kenny Moreland.

Single-A Delmarva: Nate Moreau, Cole McCurry, Ryan O'Shea, Oliver Drake and Chris Salberg.

Stockstill said Bowie third baseman Josh Bell left last night's game in the second inning with an ankle injury and is listed day-to-day.

"He has an ankle strain, but we don't believe it is serious. A guy hit a line drive off of Tanaka that rolled to third, he came in to play the ball and landed awkwardly on the ankle.

"At the moment it's not considered any big problem. But we'll know more when he reports today."

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