Two of the Orioles' top pitching prospects that have yet to pitch in an affiliated game this season, Matt Hobgood and Ryan Berry, will make their season debuts Monday when the Gulf Coast League season begins.
Hobgood, who has been rehabbing a strained rotator cuff, and Berry, who has been out with shoulder tendinitis, are both expected to pitch an inning or two Monday. Both have been at extended spring training.
Pitcher Matt Bywater, the Orioles' seventh-round pick last year, is also expected to make his season debut Monday in that GCL game.
Hobgood, the club's top draft pick in 2009, went 3-7 with a 4.40 ERA in 21 starts last year for Single-A Delmarva. The 22-year-old Berry, a ninth-round pick out of Rice in 2009, was ticketed to begin this year in Double-A Bowie's rotation before he developed the shoulder issues. He went 2-2 with a 3.04 ERA last year at Single-A Frederick.
Two other pitchers that have been out with injuries, Brandon Cooney (shoulder) and Eddie Gamboa (elbow) are expected to pitch this weekend for short-season Single-A Aberdeen on injury rehabilitation assignments. The IronBirds open a new season at home tonight.
As we have reported here before, Mychal Givens has been sent to Aberdeen and that will become official when the roster is released later today. He is expected to be Aberdeen's starter at shortstop.
Two others players, Riley Hornback and Dudley Leonora, are going to move from Delmarva and join Aberdeen in time for tonight's opener. Leonora could start at second base tonight with Givens at short and Conner Narron at third. Wynston Sawyer is expected to start behind the plate tonight for the IronBirds.
Justin Dalles and Mike Mooney are expected to join Delmarva to take two of the roster spots of the departing players.
Parker Bridwell is Aberdeen's starting pitcher tonight. I will have an interview with Bridwell coming up in this space later today.