Three O's minor league clubs going with six-man rotations

As it turns out, not only will Dylan Bundy stay pitching in a six-man rotation when he makes his first start for Single-A Frederick on Saturday night, but starting this weekend, three Orioles farm teams will be using six-man rotations.

As Bundy moves to Frederick, right-hander Mike Wright moves from Frederick to Double-A Bowie to start tomorrow night and Zach Britton makes his first outing for the Baysox on Saturday, three O's farm clubs - Delmarva, Frederick and Bowie - will be going with the six-man rotations.

For Single-A Delmarva, it's a continuation of the six-man rotation the Shorebirds have been using all year.

The Orioles seem to really like the fact that their starters can get two bullpen or side sessions between starts in a six-man rotation and feel that is a good way right now for some of their young hurlers to get their work in and make improvements to their game.

The O's feel two side sessions between starts. and not one like pitchers throw in the more traditional five-man rotation, give those pitchers the best chance to make those improvements. So, moving forward, only Triple-A Norfolk will stay on a five-man rotation.

Here are the pitchers we could see in those rotations:

Bowie: Wright, Tim Bascom, Bobby Bundy, Oliver Drake, Zach Clark, Britton.

Frederick: Dylan Bundy, Kyle Simon, Trent Howard, Rick Zagone, Tyler Wilson, Scott Copeland.

Delmarva: Parker Bridwell, Tim Berry, Miguel Chalas, Eduardo Rodriguez, Zach Davies, Matt Taylor.

For quite a while, it seems, whenever someone would mention Xavier Avery, they would also talk about LJ Hoes. The two were both drafted by the Orioles out of the high school ranks in 2008, with Avery taken in round two and Hoes in round three.

They became close friends and played together in 2009 with Delmarva and last year at Bowie.

But while Avery moved up to Norfolk this season, Hoes remained with the Baysox, where he's been having a pretty solid season and has moved from left field to center field.

Bowie manager Gary Kendall has been quite pleased with Hoes' play this season and believes he could soon be in line for a promotion to Norfolk.

"He's been very steady for us," Kendall said. "He's made the plays here and his throwing has improved. He's hitting in the three-hole and providing us with a lot of stability in the lineup. He is hitting the ball the other way well.

"He is just a professional that works very hard and he's such a likable kid that really comes to play," Kendall said. "It wouldn't surprise me if down the road that he might not be our center fielder. He might be somebody else's outfielder. That would be great and I hope I'm around here to give him the news.

"He's on the radar and they could use a good player in Norfolk and eventually, that's going to happen. When it happens, we will be very excited for him."

Through 43 Bowie game, Hoes is batting .277 with two homers, 21 runs, nine steals and 14 RBIs to go with an OPS of .763. While he has batted .316 against right-handed pitching, Hoes has hit just .184 against lefties.

Finally, it was nice to be in Bowie last night for Brian Roberts' return to the diamond, even though we never saw him swing at a pitch during a rather uneventful night.

More tests and more action during the games will surely be coming for Roberts, who seems so excited and so appreciative that his comeback from concussion symptoms has finally reached this point.

Hearing Roberts talk about the friendship and support of people like Brady Anderson last night, you know he realizes that a lot of people have helped him get to this point.

Some fans have been frustrated by Roberts' lack of playing time for two years now and the fact that he hasn't helped the team much during that time. But I think the large majority of fans are excited to see him back. It's clear that this comeback bid has plenty of support from his Orioles teammates and the front office and a whole lot of people that were thrilled to see the player wearing the No. 1 jersey back on a ball field last night.

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