At this point, the news is good on Orioles minor league pitcher Clayton Schrader.
While he was placed on the Single-A Frederick Keys disabled list today due to elbow discomfort, he could return to pitch in the minors before this season ends. Schrader has what is called a flexor mass strain and has gone on the minor league DL, retroactive to Sunday.
No MRI is planned on his elbow. Schrader has posted some very strong numbers on the farm this year.
The right-hander, the Orioles’ 10th-round pick last year, is 1-1 with three saves and ERA of 1.13 for Frederick. In 24 innings with the Keys, he has allowed just eight hits with 19 walks, 35 strikeouts and a batting average against of just .101.
Between Single-A Delmarva and Frederick this year he has allowed just 19 hits over 46 innings with 32 walks and a whopping 73 strikeouts.
Schrader will take about seven days off and then resume throwing. Again, the club remains hopeful this is not a serious injury and that he will return later this season.
Meanwhile, 2009 first-round pick Matt Hobgood gave up nine runs in just 2 2/3 for short-season Single-A Aberdeen last night. Making his fourth start for the IronBirds, the Orioles were hoping he would have a four-inning outing.
Hobgood has now allowed 15 runs and 14 hits in his last two outings, over just 4 1/3 innings. A club official indicated that Hobgood feels healthy and was throwing 91 and 92 mph last night, but has struggled with command and control. For now, he will continue to pitch at Aberdeen. All along the plan and hope was that Hobgood would be healthy for 2012 and ready then to pitch a full season as he comes back from a rotator cuff strain.
It now looks like Bobby Bundy’s first start for Double-A Bowie will be on Friday at Prince George’s Stadium against New Hampshire. Bundy went 11-5 with an ERA of 2.75 in 20 starts for Frederick.
Pitcher Randy Henry, who moved today to Frederick from Delmarva, will continue to pitch out of the bullpen for the Keys, throwing one and two-inning outings every three to four days.
The Orioles are hopeful that Frederick first baseman Tyler Townsend, out with a hamstring injury since July 13, will return to the Keys this weekend. First baseman Aaron Baker, the player the Orioles got in the Derrek Lee trade, joined the Keys today.
When Townsend is activated it’s possible Baker could be moved to Double-A. There is also some talk that Baker could be looked at in left field or some at third base.