The Orioles have hired Tim Raines Jr. to be the hitting coach at short-season, Single-A Aberdeen. Raines Jr. is the son of new Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Tim Raines Sr.
Raines Jr. played for the Orioles in 2001 and again in 2003-2004. On Oct. 4, 2001, father and son played in a game together for the Orioles against Boston, with Raines Jr. in center field and Raines Sr. in left. They became the second father-son combo to play for the same team in the same major league game after Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. on Aug. 31, 1996.
Most recently Raines Jr. was working with IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He has previously worked for the Reds as a minor league coach.
In 75 games and 174 plate appearances over those three season with the Orioles, Raines Jr. hit .213 with no homers and seven RBIs. At Aberdeen he’ll work with some of the younger players on the O’s farm, and the Orioles likely will also send some players they will draft next week to Aberdeen after they are signed. The IronBirds’ season begins June 19.
Meanwhile, right-hander Gray Fenter is progressing well from his Tommy John surgery in April of 2016. The Orioles’ seventh-round pick in the 2015 draft out of West Memphis (Ark.) High School, Fenter was signed to a $1 million bonus.
In 2015 he pitched in the Gulf Coast League with a 1.66 ERA and 21 2/3 innings in nine games. Most recently he has pitched four times, throwing two innings each in extended spring training, touching 92 and 93 mph with his fastball. He is expected to pitch for the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Orioles when the GCL season begins June 26.
Some notes from around Birdland -
Triple-A Norfolk: Infielder Johnny Giavotella has reached base safely in 25 consecutive games, over which he’s hit .349 (37-for-106) with three home runs, eight walks and 18 RBIs. Giavotella has also hit safely in 14 straight games, batting .424 (25-for-59) with three home runs and 10 RBIs over that stretch, the longest by a Tides player this season. The longest hitting streak in the International League this year is 18 games, accomplished by two players.
Third baseman Drew Dosch has hit safely in 18 of his last 22 games, hitting .310 (26-for-84) with four homers, eight doubles and 18 RBIs over that span. Dosch has registered at least one RBI in 12 of those 22 contests.
In his first season at the Triple-A level, right-handed reliever Jimmy Yacabonis has gone 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA, while holding International League batters to a .149 average. That average is second among IL relievers, and Yacabonis has not allowed a run in 20 of his 23 outings thus far, including seven in a row.
Double-A Bowie: Infielder Stevie Wilkerson has posted five multi-hit games over his last seven games. He became the second Baysox player to have at least four straight multi-hit games this year after doing so June 1-4. Earlier, Aderlin Rodriguez had five straight such games. Over those past seven games, Wilkerson is 14-for-31 (.452). In 15 games since joining Bowie, Wilkerson is batting .345 with a 1.003 OPS.
Versatile Garabez Rosa has hit safely in 41 of his last 48 games, including 14 of 16 and 21 of his last 24. In 56 games this season, Rosa is batting .339 with 13 doubles, six homers and 43 RBIs.
Single-A Frederick: Outfielder Randolph Gassaway went hitless last night to snap a seven-game batting streak during which he hit .367 (11-for-30) with a double, two RBIs and three runs scored.
Outfielder Austin Hays went 6-for-12 with a homer, a double, four RBIs and two runs scored in his last three games of the Potomac series, and then homered again last night. Hays has hit seven homers his last 15 games. Over 56 games for the year, the 21-year-old right-hander batter is hitting .326/.363/.570 with 12 doubles, three triples, 12 homers and 33 RBIs.
Single-A Delmarva: The Shorebirds beat West Virginia 6-2 last night. Serving as DH, Preston Palmeiro went 2-for-4 with two triples and four RBIs. Palmeiro has five multi-hit games over his last 12 contests. In that stretch he is batting .347 (17-for-49) with four doubles, two triples, four homers and 18 RBIs. He has raised his season average from .222 to .254. In May Palmeiro hit .303 with an OPS of .908.
Outfielder Cole Billingsley went 2-for-3 with three walks in that win, reaching base five times for the second time in four games. He is batting .263 and leads all O’s minor leaguers with 16 stolen bases over 18 attempts.
On Tuesday night, Delmarva skipper Ryan Minor picked up his 400th career win as Shorebirds manager. He has managed the Shorebirds for seven seasons, including the last four in a row. While this year’s club is 25-33, he led Delmarva to winning seasons in 2015 (71-67) and 2016 (73-66).