Right-handed relief pitcher Dan Klein continues to pitch very well on the farm for the Orioles.
Klein pitched 2 1/3 scoreless in Double-A Bowie’s loss last night and has now pitched 7 1/3 shutout innings in his first four games there since moving from Single-A Frederick.
In 11 games between the two teams, Klein is 1-1 with an ERA of 0.78 and .193 average against. In 23 innings, he has allowed just two runs on 16 hits with four walks to 27 strikeouts.
He is doing nothing to put to rest talk he could move fast through the farm system or talk that he could be a future fixture in the Orioles’ bullpen.
I have heard some say the Orioles will build up Klein’s inning this year to use him as a starter later this season. That is not the plan I have heard. At least for this year, I expect the Orioles to keep Klein in the ‘pen and limit his innings somewhat after he pitched just 52 innings in college at UCLA last year.
Right-handed batters are hitting just .170 off the 22-year-old Klein, who was drafted in the third round last June. He has given up just one hit over 25 at-bats so far when pitching with runners in scoring position.
Zach Britton’s older brother, Buck, knocked in two more runs for Frederick last night and has seven RBIs his past two games and 20 on the year. Buck, an infielder and .262 career minor league batter, was drafted by the Birds in the 35th-round of the 2008 draft.
Maybe Mychal Givens is starting to hit. The Single-A Delmarva second baseman was batting just .156 two days ago but is at .197 now after going 6-for-8 the past two games.
Givens went 4-for-4 Thursday at Hagerstown and 2-for-4 last night at home versus Greensboro. He has struggled most of the year and has just two extra-base hits, both doubles, in 31 games.
The Shorebirds lost 6-3 last night but that team continues to hit the ball better than any O’s farm club by far this season and they’ve been scoring nearly six runs per game.
The four best batting averages in the Orioles’ system so far belong to Delmarva batters:
.378 - Kipp Schutz
.337 - Tyler Kelly
.333 - Manny Machado
.329 - Jonathan Schoop
Tyler Townsend, of Frederick, is fifth on that list batting .325 and leads all O’s farmhands with seven homers. Schutz leads the organization with 31 RBIs and Bowie’s Xavier Avery is first in steals with 18.
Right-hander Chorye Spoone pitches tonight for Triple-A Norfolk at Lehigh Valley. Spoone is 2-1, 4.08 on the year but has pitched to an ERA of 1.72 over his past three starts.
Blake Davis now has an eight-game hitting streak for the Tides and is 11-for-31 (.355) during the streak with two homers and seven RBIs.