Even though I feel like my blogging performance has been solid enough to keep me in the majors, I am sending myself to the minor leagues later today. I'll skip today's game at Camden Yards and will check in this afternoon on the Aberdeen IronBirds at Ripken Stadium.
Matt Hobgood is slated to make his fifth Aberdeen start there today at 5:35 when the IronBirds host Hudson Valley.
As he rehabs a strained rotator cuff, Hobgood gave up four earned runs over eight innings in his first two starts. But the last two have not gone well at all. In those two outings, he pitched a total of 4 1/3 innings and gave up 14 hits and 15 runs, all earned. He gave up nine runs in 2 2/3 in his last game.
I'll be there later to see if Hobgood makes any progress today against the Renegades, a Tampa Bay farm club.
Aberdeen got off to a terrible 2-17 start, but is 14-15 since to get to 16-32 overall. The IronBirds start several young players including catcher Wynston Sawyer (19), third baseman Connor Narron (19), second baseman Dudley Leonora (19) and shortstop Mychal Givens (21).
They have seven pitchers taken in the 2011 draft on their roster and three are in the current starting rotation in third-round pick Mike Wright (2-1, 4.15), seventh-rounder Trent Howard (3-1, 2.78) and 10th-round pick Tyler Wilson (0-0, 2.25).
Other pitchers drafted this year that currently pitch for Aberdeen are fourth-round selection Kyle Simon, fifth-round pick Matt Taylor, ninth-rounder Devin Jones and Zach Fowler, a 34th-round pick.
Check back later this afternoon and tonight for a few posts from Aberdeen and I'll have a full report in the morning on Matt Hobgood's start tonight at Ripken Stadium.