Orioles add Loomis and Sweeney in minor league phase of Rule 5 draft

DALLAS - The Orioles today added two players in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft, getting lefty pitcher Andrew Loomis of the Phillies organization in the Triple-A portion of the draft and infielder Matt Sweeney of the Rays organization in the Double-A portion of the draft.

The 26-year-old Loomis is 10-10 with a 3.34 ERA in 133 career games in four minor league seasons. A 16th-round selection by the Florida Marlins in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Purdue, Loomis went 1-2 with a 1.14 ERA over 31 2/3 innings with 39 strikeouts and 10 walks with Class-A Clearwater in the Phillies’ organization in 2011.

Orioles scouting coordinater Mike Snyder talked about Loomis and Sweeney.

“He’s a left-handed pitcher that has had some success at Single-A and Double-A,” Snyder said of Loomis. “We’re excited to have him. Good control and strikes out a lot of guys.

“Our scouts have seen him a decent amount. He throws high 80s. They like the offspeed pitches and he has good control. We’ve had a number of scouts see him the past few years.”

Loomis was available because he was left off the Phillies’ 40-man roster and also their Triple-A roster which can include as many as 38 players on it for Rule 5 draft purposes.

The 23-year-old Sweeney is a career .247/.329/.423 hitter in five minor league seasons in the Angels’ and Rays’ systems after being selected by Los Angeles in the 8th-round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. He batted .154/.262/.282 in 82 games with Double-A Montgomery in 2011.

“He’s an infielder that can play first base, third base and DH. He’s a good hitter, we like his swing. He’s had success at the Single-A level. He struggled a little bit at Double-A, but we’re confident he can come in and help us. We’re happy to have him,” Snyder said.

Was there a chance the Orioles would take more than just those two players in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft?

“There was a thought. The way it plays out, you go through a number of guys and you see who fits the needs and those were the two we decided on,” Snyder said.

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