Nicky Delmonico’s night began with him batting fifth and playing first base for the Single-A Frederick Keys at Winston-Salem.
In the top of the second inning, he flied out. As he was preparing to go back on the field to play defense, his tenure in the Orioles organization was about to come to an end.
“I was playing, and I’d had one at-bat,” Delmonico told me tonight by phone from the visiting clubhouse in Winston-Salem.
“I came back in the dugout to get my stuff and go back on the field, and I saw (manager) Ryan Minor on the phone. He pulled me aside and told me I was traded to Milwaukee.
“I’m excited for a new start, but also the teammates, coaches and everyone in the Orioles organization have been really good to me.”
Delmonico, ranked by Baseball America as the club’s fourth-best prospect, was traded to the Brewers for right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez, as the O’s part with a potential future player to get bullpen help now.
The O’s sixth-round pick from the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Delmonico was signed then to an overslot bonus of $1.525 million. He was considered one of the club’s top minor league batting prospects.
“This is something I have never experienced,” Delmonico said. “I have a lot of good relationships in this organization, and it will be tough to say goodbye to them. But the relationships I’ve had with my teammates will always be there for me. I’m excited to get started.
“I had a real good relationship with (Orioles director of player development) Brian Graham. He wished me luck and said if I ever needed anything he was just a phone call away. I know this is a business, and people are just trying to win. The Orioles are trying to get back to the World Series.”
Delmonico has dealt with some injury issues this season, including a concussion. He got off to a fast start at bat and leaves Frederick batting .244 over 60 games with 13 homers, 30 RBIs and an .822 OPS.
Did he have any idea that he could be involved in a trade?
“You always hear rumors,” Delmonico said. “Just like last year, I heard rumors, but I really didn’t feel this coming.”
He did admit it is a bit flattering to be traded for a veteran major league pitcher who has a 1.09 ERA this year and 304 career saves.
“I didn’t know I was traded straight up for him,” he said. “I thought there might be a couple other guys. But when you see it on paper, it’s pretty cool.”
He will head back to Frederick now to pack his bags, and said he has heard the Brewers will assign him to their Single-A Florida State League team, Brevard County.