News and notes from the Orioles’ instructional league workouts

Orioles first-round draft pickHunter Harvey, is no longer pitching in any games during the club’s instructional league workouts at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla.

“He just has a sore lower back and it’s from running and conditioning and doing PFPs (pitchers’ fielding practice),” O’s director of player development Brian Graham said. “We’re not pitching him in a game, but it’s not a concern, not an injury.

“He had a great year and threw the ball well and did everything we wanted him to do. He pitched in two games here (in Sarasota) earlier. He’s been here going through the learning process, but he is not going to pitch in any more games. He’s fine. He does everything except pitch in games.”

Harvey, a right-hander, went 0-1 with a 1.78 ERA late this season between the Gulf Coast League Orioles and short-season Single-A Aberdeen. Over 25 1/3 innings he walked six and fanned 33. He also pitched five no-hit innings with seven strikeouts in an Aberdeen playoff game.

The O’s instructional league workouts, involving about 60 players, have been going on since Sept. 11 and will end next Tuesday.

The O’s players have played games there against players from the Rays, Twins, Red Sox, Phillies and Pirates. But the games are pretty informal and you can bat as many hitters as you want in a lineup and stop an inning if your pitcher has run up too high of a pitch count.

“Overall, it’s been great,” Graham said from Florida. “I’ve been really, really pleased with the effort level and approach to the game that our young players have had. Most impressed with the learning process. There has been so much instruction and you can see players making strides on a daily basis.

“Everyone’s program here is individualized. Even though we do a lot of group activity with batting practice and defensive drills, every player has a plan for what they are working on and trying to get better at.”

Several of the Orioles’ top draft picks have been playing well, Graham said, including the club’s second round pick, catcher Chance Sisco drafted with the 61st overall pick out of Santiago (Calif.) High School.

“Chance Sisco has performed well and been very impressive with his entire instructional league,” Graham said. “He’s a lot more mature defensively with receiving, blocking and throwing than I anticipated. He’s a lot more advanced, has a real good approach at the plate and has competed well with the older players. He’s been impressive.

“Josh Hart has played well. He has shown the ability to go all directions in the outfield and catch the ball. He’s run well and put good at-bats together.

“Trey Mancini has made good strides defensively and has continued to swing the bat well from Aberdeen into instructional league. He’s done a good job.”

Graham said 16-year-old, 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher Olelky Peralta from the Dominican Republic has looked good. Peralta was recently signed by O’s executive director of international recruiting Fred Ferreira to a $325,000 signing bonus.

“He has not pitched in a game but he’s an impressive looking young pitcher,” Graham said. “Tall, great body, good arm, good delivery. He’s a nice looking kid.”

Henry Urrutia, Dariel Alvarez and Michael Ohlman have taken part in some instructional league workouts, but are now getting ready to head to play in the Arizona Fall League.

Among the players continuing their rehab programs during instructional league are the Bundy brothers. Dylan Bundy had Tommy John surgery in June on his right elbow and Bobby Bundy had a bone chip removed from his right elbow the same month.

“Dylan is doing great. According to the doctors he is way ahead of schedule,” Graham said. “I think he begins a throwing program in December. Bobby is just back from a surgery and doing fine.”

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