The movement of left-handed starting pitching upward in the O’s farm system continued today when southpaw Nate Moreau moved from Delmarva to the Frederick Keys.
Moreau will be make his Keys debut tonight when he starts at Salem.
He is taking the rotation spot of Rick Zagone, who as we reported last night, has moved to Double-A Bowie and will start for the Baysox at home tonight vs. Erie. Zagone moved to Bowie when Zach Britton moved to Triple-A Norfolk, where he will make his first start on Thursday.
Zagone went 5-6, 3.20 in 15 Frederick starts, but was 4-1, 2.05 over his last six Keys starts and allowed 2 ER or fewer in eight of his last nine Carolina League starts.
Moreau was having a very good year at Delmarva, going 2-3, 2.98 in 16 games, seven starts. Over 60 1/3 innings, he walked 23 and fanned 70.
Over his last 11 games of which seven were starts, Moreau has pitched to an ERA of 1.49. The 23-year-old is an 11th-round draft pick from 2008 out of the University of Georgia.
Moreau was the Orioles minor league pitcher of the month for May. In May he was 1-0, 0.36 and gave up just one run and ten hits over 25 innings with an opponent batting average against of just .122.
Moreau is a pitcher the O’s have always had some decent hopes for, but they appeared to limit his innings coming off his college career and he pitched just 36 1/3 in 2008 at Aberdeen and he went 5-3, 3.61 in 20 starts over 87 1/3 last season at Delmarva.
Pat Kantakevich is expected to take Moreau’s spot in the Shorebirds rotation.