Hobgood and Berry will likely be Aberdeen-bound soon

Two Orioles pitching prospects that are on the comeback trail from injuries are expected to soon join the short-season Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds.

Right-handers Matt Hobgood and Ryan Berry are expected to pitch one more time for the Gulf Coast League O's, probably July 11, and then move to Aberdeen.

The 20-year-old Hobgood, the Orioles' top pick in the 2009 draft, is rehabbing a strained right rotator cuff. He is 0-0 with a 3.52 ERA in four games over 7 2/3 innings in the GCL. He has allowed seven hits and three earned runs with one walk and six strikeouts. He gave up two runs over three innings in his most recent outing yesterday.

The 22-year-old Berry, a ninth-round pick out of Rice in 2009, is 0-0 with an ERA of 1.17, also in 7 2/3 innings. He has given up four hits and one earned run with five walks and seven strikeouts. He pitched three shutout innings in Tuesday's GCL game.

Meanwhile, when the IronBirds host Lowell tonight at Ripken Stadium, this year's third-round Orioles draft pick, right-handed pitcher Mike Wright out of East Carolina, will make his season debut and is expected to start and pitch two innings. He is expected to be followed to the mound tonight by fifth-round pick, lefty Matt Taylor, who will also be making his season debut.

After losing to Hudson Valley 8-5 last night, Aberdeen is off to a 2-17 start with eight straight losses. The IronBirds are 0-5 in July and have been outscored 44-10 in those games.

It seems the Orioles have sent some young talent to Aberdeen this season and they've kind of been thrown into the deep end of the pool. They are playing nightly against some older and more experienced players.

Aberdeen starts three 19-year-old players with Wynston Sawyer catching, Glynn Davis in center field and Connor Narron at third base. Shortstop Mychal Givens and outfielder Chris Clinton are just 21.

Maybe these 2011 draft picks can help the IronBirds get some wins. With the O's dropping one of their short-season teams last year in Bluefield, some of the players that might have played there have been forced onto the Aberdeen roster.

We'll see if the IronBirds can turn around this terrible start. Hobgood and Berry should be there to help soon.

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