SARASOTA, Fla. - Director of player development Brian Graham provided a number of interesting tidbits on the Orioles’ system at Twin Lakes Park today.
First and foremost, the O’s are planning to move former first-round pick Matt Hobgood to the bullpen this year, and the right-hander will likely start at Single-A Delmarva. A goal of the shift is to help the 22-year-old get his diminished velocity back quicker coming off of shoulder surgery.
The Orioles also will have some of their minor league teams use six-man rotations. Single-A Delmarva and Frederick will likely have six-man staffs and Double-A Bowie possibly will. Triple-A Norfolk is expected to have a five-man rotation.
Right-hander Dan Klein, one of the Orioles’ top pitching prospects, has suffered another setback in his comeback from two shoulder surgeries. He had a cortisone shot at the start of minor league camp and for now, is not throwing as he rehabs the shoulder.
Infield prospect Nicky Delmonico, who ended last season with a left knee injury, is now 100 percent healthy. He is expected to move to third base this year after playing second and first a year ago. He is likely to start the season at Single-A Frederick.
Jason Esposito, a 2011 second-rounder who played third base last season at Delmarva, is expected to play first base this season at Frederick.
Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia is expected to get six at-bats today in a simulated game. He is expected to play in a minor league game very soon. He is fully recovered from his ankle ailment.
O’s right-hander Chris Tillman will start today’s Triple-A game at Twin Lakes Park and is slated to pitch three innings. Pitching prospect Mike Wright is expected to follow him to the mound and pitch three innings as well.
Dylan Bundy is scheduled to start and pitch three innings for Double-A Bowie today at Twin Lakes Park in his first outing since being optioned by Baltimore. Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez is set to pitch five innings tomorrow in a minor league game at Twin Lakes Park.
Four players are not participating in camp because of injury: Aaron Baker (oblique strain), Zelous Wheeler (abdominal strain), Tyler Townsend (hip/wrist) and Wynston Sawyer (ribcage pull).
The Orioles plan to have right-hander Jonatan Isenia, who injured his elbow pitching for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, rest for six weeks and then begin a throwing program.