The transition of Mychal Givens, the Orioles’ second-round draft pick in 2009, from infielder to pitcher has been going well at spring training camp at Twin Lakes Park and Givens is expected to be with a full-season affiliate come opening day.
“He’s made a very smooth transition back to pitching and he was a pitching prospect in high school. He’s thrown very well this spring and I would anticipate him making a club out of spring training,” Orioles director of player development Brian Graham said.
“He’ll be a bullpen guy. Generally, when you transition a guy, it is better to pitch him out of the bullpen where you can control his innings.
“I like him a lot. He’s been 91 to 94 (mph) with his fastball this spring and he has kind of a slow three-quarters arm slot and he’s got arm-side sink. He also throws a slider. He’s a two-pitch guy right now and is working on a changeup also.
“With a guy that has never pitched professionally, you’d like to see him at 50 or 60 innings (for this season) and we’ll gauge him along the way to make sure he’s maintaining his arm strength and velocity and that his health is fine. So far, he’s been good.”
In the summer of 2010, Jesse Beal was one of the top young pitchers in the rotation at Single-A Delmarva, going 7-6 with a 3.86 ERA over 19 starts. He was named to the South Atlantic League’s All-Star Game.
But he underwent labrum surgery in May 2011 and missed all of that season. Beal returned last year, going 2-4 with a 4.70 ERA over 59 1/3 innings back with Delmarva on the comeback trail.
He’s been having a solid spring in Sarasota as he tries to work his way back to the form he showed during that 2010 season.
“He’s doing great,” Graham said of Beal. “He’s healthy and he’s going to pitch out of the bullpen somewhere this year. Right now, it is where he profiles best. His velocity is up and I think he can pitch at 92 or 93 (mph) out of the bullpen.”
Connor Narron, the Orioles’ fifth-round pick out of a North Carolina high school in 2010, got a late start to spring training this year due to a lacerated left hand (his glove hand) that required stitches. He has just begun to play in games, but still should be a full go and make a roster for opening day.
The 21-year-old Narron hit .232 in 119 games with Delmarva last season with 10 homers and 58 RBIs. He is expected to play mostly at first base this season, but could also see some time at third and in the outfield.
Right-hander Bobby Bundy is likely to begin this year at extended spring training in Florida after undergoing surgery to have bone spurs removed from his right elbow last July 21. He has not yet thrown any bullpen sessions or pitched in any games.
“Bobby is going through a rehab program. He is still in the process of rehabbing,” Graham said.
Other pitchers in rehab mode that are expected to also stay at extended spring training when the regular season begins are Oliver Drake and Dan Klein.
Triple-A Norfolk Tides general manager Joe Gregory has been honored with the Tom Fergusson Memorial Award as the Metropolitan Person of the Year in Sports. The Norfolk Sports Club presented the award to Gregory at its 68th annual Jamboree last night. Gregory took over as Tides GM on Oct. 4, 2011. He also serves as vice president of the American Hockey League’s Norfolk Admirals.
The Orioles’ full-season affiliate rosters could be finalized over the next few days. The club breaks minor league camp Sunday after intrasquad games that morning and the players from the four full-season clubs begin to head north from Florida.