Beato embraces new role as minor league seasons begin (plus DL news and roster links)

When the Orioles drafted right-hander Pedro Beato with their second pick, the 32nd overall selection, in the 2006 June draft, he came with a lot of promise and a lively fastball.

But the 6'6" hurler from Brooklyn, New York has had limited success on the stat sheet and a fastball that sometimes lost velocity later in games.

Now, 83 starts and 444 innings later, he will try a new role this year when the Double-A Bowie Baysox open the season tonight hosting Richmond - pitching out of the bullpen.

"It's a big adjustment, it's the first time in my life I've come out of the pen. You have to be ready every day. But I like it because I can just come in and air it out. Get in, get out and get the job done. It works better for me," the 23-year-old Beato said.

"One of the things you have to get used to is being ready every day and trying to be consistent. You have to be aggressive right away, don't pace yourself.

"I had a meeting and the O's told me I wasn't doing as well as when they first signed me. They said it's the best thing for me and I could make it to the bigs faster this way.

"I said whatever it takes to get me to the bigs, I don't care. Doing the job is all I'm concerned about."

Last year at Frederick, Beato went 5-7, 4.53 in 20 starts after posting a 5.85 ERA with the Keys the year before. After a late-season move up to Double-A, he was 1-3, 4.50 in 32 Baysox innings.

He admits his velocity was losing some steam the deeper he pitched into games.

"That's right, I have lost some velocity, just not being used to throwing so many innings and the wear and tear of being a starter. I never got quite used to pitching those innings.

"I'll be up for that (pitching more often now). My arm has responded to it in camp. It has bounced back well.

If April 1st is any indication, Beato may enjoy this new role. That day, he pitched the 7th and 8th innings in the Major League game as the O's beat Tampa. He pitched two shutout frames vs. the Rays. He gave up three hits with one strikeout and no walks and got the win.

Beato, who has made 83 of his 88 career appearances as a starter, is 20-30, 4.50 in his O's career.

All four O's minor league full-season clubs play season openers tonight.

Triple-A Norfolk hosts Durham with Chris Tillman facing Jeremy Hellickson. Zach Britton will get the start when Double-A Bowie hosts Richmond. Lefty Rick Zagone pitches for Frederick at Lynchburg and Delmarva opens at Greensville with Ryan Berry on the mound tonight.

Matt Hobgood is scheduled to start the Shorebirds third game of the year.

The Bowie Baysox released their roster today with pitchers Luis Lebron and Josh Perrault and outfielder Matt Angle listed as being on the disabled list.

Delmarva lists RHP T.R. Keating (right shoulder strain), RHP Mick Mattaliano (right shoulder labrum tear),
OF Kieron Pope (recovering from right femur fracture) and C Jordan Wolf (soncussion) on the DL. Norfolk lists catcher Michel Hernanez (fractured right finger) on the DL.

Check out each club's website for rosters, schedules and more.

Norfolk Tides

Bowie Baysox

Frederick Keys

Delmarva Shorebirds

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