Orioles minor league right-handed pitcher Stu Pomeranz may be off to the best start of any pitcher on the farm right now not named Dylan Bundy.
In his first two outings with Triple-A Norfolk, since moving up from Double-A Bowie, Pomeranz has pitched 3 2/3 shutout and hitless innings with nine strikeouts. So of 11 Triple-A outs he has recorded, nine have come via a strikeout.
Between Bowie and Norfolk, the 27-year-old Pomeranz has pitched 17 innings allowing seven hits and no earned runs with two walks and 29 strikeouts.
He has been working to improve his secondary pitches to complement a mid 90s fastball. At Bowie he was getting four days between relief appearances and now he may pitch more often with Norfolk as the Orioles try to find out if Pomeranz is someone that could help the bullpen in Baltimore at some point this year.
The Orioles signed Pomeranz right before spring training - on February 2 - after he pitched just two innings last year. I have heard that Brady Anderson had some involvement in his signing. He got into eight games in spring training with the Orioles with an ERA of 1.08.
In other minor league notes:
* Dylan Bundy's next start projects to come up May 7 at Charleston. He is not the only good young arm on that Shorebirds staff, far from it, as Delmarva has the second best team ERA in the South Atlantic League at 3.22.
The national media is starting to pick up on Bundy's story. ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick spent some time in Salisbury over the last few days and here is his story on Bundy.
* Delmarva's Nicky Delmonico has raised his average from .132 to .247 over the last 11 games. Delmarva's John Ruettiger has the second best average on the O's farm right now at .322 and teammate Gabriel Lino is third at .313, both behind Ronnie Welty, now with Bowie, who is batting .383.
* LJ Hoes of Bowie is batting .357 (10-for-28) during a seven-game batting streak. The Baysox have hit 23 homers to rank second in the Eastern League.
* Frederick lefty Rick Zagone took a no-hitter into the seventh inning last night before settling for a one-hitter over 6 2/3 in the Keys 3-0 win over Myrtle Beach. Zagone is 2-0 with an ERA of 1.31 in six games, three starts, for Single-A Frederick.
The Keys' last no-hitter was pitched by Nate Moreau on June 10, 2010 against Salem.
Zagone, the Orioles' sixth-round pick in 2008, has spent at least a part of every year since 2009 with Frederick. He has an ERA of 0.61 in his three starts there this season.
* Bowie's Buck Britton, who has been out since April 18 with an oblique strain, is still at least a week to 10 days away from a possible return to the lineup. He was batting .321 over his first 13 Baysox games.
* The Orioles have several pitchers who have been down at extended spring training in Sarasota, Fla. that are getting close to coming north to join affiliates. That list includes Brandon Erbe, Jesse Beal and David Baker.
* In some roster transactions on the farm today, Norfolk put outfielder Scott Beerer on the DL with a broken left hamate bone and pitcher Jon Link on the DL with right elbow soreness. The Tides have officially added pitcher Joel Pineiro who will make his first Norfolk start on Thursday. Right now, Norfolk is one player under the 25-man roster limit. Beerer is expected to be out eight to 10 weeks.
Bowie has put first baseman Tyler Townsend on the DL after he left last night's game with a hamstring injury. Townsend was batting .247 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 21 games. Bowie is also one player under the 25-man limit.
Bowie outfielder Antoan Richardson could miss a few days with a knee contusion but for now is not going on the DL.
Outfielder Steve Bumbry has joined Frederick from extended spring training and should be put on the Keys' active roster soon.