Checking in on Australia

Four Orioles farmhands were playing winter ball in the Australian Baseball League.

Now, there are three.

Righty Brett Jacobsen was there, but, as of Thursday he was traded to Minnesota in the deal that sent J. J. Hardy to Baltimore. The 24-year-old Jacobsen came to the O's in a trade on August 17, 2009 from Detroit for Aubrey Huff. This winter with the Perth Heat, Jacobsen went 0-0, 1.93 with three saves in four chances over 9 1/3 innings.

Lefty Cole McCurry is 0-1, 4.12 in five starts over 19 2/3 for Perth. He has walked 11, fanned 23 and has held lefty batters to an average of just .154. The 25-year-old McCurry has allowed just two runs over his last two starts in 10 1/3 frames.

Robbie Widlansky is the second-leading hitter in that league right now and is batting .367-2-11. He has eight doubles in 20 games along with an OBP of .429 and OPS of .973. After playing a lot of first base this year at Bowie, Widlansky had made several starts in left field for Perth. Widlansky, who won the Carolina League batting title in 2009, hit .269-5-30 in 74 Baysox games before his season ended in July due to a fractured right ankle.

Ronnie Welty, who batted .282-18-82 last season with Frederick, has struggled so far with Perth. Welty is batting .186-3-9 in 16 games. The 22-year-old Welty is just 1-for-15 vs. left-handed pitchers.

Perth is 13-7 and in first place in the six-team league. Play began there in early November and the 40-game season ends in January.

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