Minor league notes on Widlansky and Britton

Minor league notes on Widlansky and Britton
It appears that Robbie Widlansky of the Double-A Bowie Baysox will be out for the rest of this season. He suffered what is believed to be a fractured right ankle on Thursday during a game at Erie and is expected to miss at least six weeks, meaning the soonest he would be back is at the very end of the minor league season. Widlansky, who won the Carolina League batting title last year while at Frederick, is batting .269-5-30 in 74 games with the Baysox. He was just two for 21 in July at the...
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A manager's opinion

A manager's opinion
As we continue our series of stories on the O's minor leagues today we look at the Orioles farm through the eyes and thoughts of an insider - Someone who has managed in that farm system since 2007 - current O's interim third base coach Gary Allenson. Until he took that position last month, Allenson had managed at Triple-A Norfolk since 2007, seeing most of the club's top prospects come his way at one time or another. "I think we've developed some pretty good players. It's still...
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Promoting players

Promoting players
One of the biggest decisions teams make for their minor leaguers is when to promote players to higher levels. When is the time right? What if the player doesn't succeed at that level? How fast should prospects move through the system? O's president Andy MacPhail worked with David Stockstill when he headed up the O's farm system and now works with his brother, John, who is the current director of player development. The O's may be going through some subtle changes in philosophy in how...
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An opinion from Baseball America

An opinion from Baseball America
Yesterday, we began our series of stories around this All-Star break on the Orioles minor league system and how well - or not - it is performing. After getting Andy MacPhail's take, today we solicit an outside and independent, but very well informed, opinion. I interviewed Baseball America's Will Lingo, who has followed the O's minors closely for years and who puts together the publication's Orioles top prospects list every year. How are the O's doing on the farm right now at the...
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Ranking the Orioles

Ranking the Orioles
Earlier today, I presented comments from Baseball America's Will Lingo on the O's farm system. Lingo and Baseball America ranked the O's farm in the top third of baseball earlier this year. "We rated them ninth coming into the season in our Prospect Handbook. For our midseason update, I wouldn't say they are one of the top organizations right now, but I would say they are in the middle of the pack," Lingo said. But if the O's were ninth then and now are in the middle of the pack, are...
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Minor League series on the way

Minor League series on the way
I wanted to pass along another reminder about what you will be reading in this space beginning Monday. I'll present a series of blogs on the Orioles minor league system. We'll take a look at how the O's are doing on the farm, how they develop players, how scouting and player development work together and how the O's make decisions like deciding when to promote a player. For those of you that are diehard fans of the minors, I hope it will add some information for your further enjoyment of...
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O's homer notes

O's homer notes
The Orioles have hit three homers off Cliff Lee tonight at Texas. Lee had allowed just five homers all year over 103 2/3 innings and 13 starts. This is the most homers he has allowed in a single game on the season. Nick Markakis hit a solo shot in the fourth, his sixth of the season and third over his last nine games and second on the year vs. a lefty. Markakis homers in 2010: April through June: 3 homers over 287 at bats. July: 3 homers over 40 at bats. Cesar Izturis hit a solo homer to...
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Swinging early and often vs. Lee

Swinging early and often vs. Lee
Juan Samuel wasn't kidding, apparently, when he said earlier today that his team needed to be aggressive tonight vs. Cliff Lee. Lee has a rep for getting ahead of hitters and the O's are sure swinging early in the count tonight vs. the 2008 AL Cy Young winner. It worked when Corey Patterson led off the game with a double and then, on the very next pitch, Miguel Tejada lined an RBI single to right. Two pitches and a 1-0 lead on Lee, who went 8-3, 2.34 for Seattle and is 4-0, 2.38 in five...
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Is winning important at the minor league level?

Is winning important at the minor league level?
So how important is winning at the minor league level? You will likely get a similar answer from most people on this question. They say winning is nice, but not if it gets in the way of developing Major League players. Here is Andy MacPhail's take on this topic: "It's preferable but not at the expense of developing players. In other words, you are not going to play a 27-year-old third base filler at A ball if he's standing in the way of a 20-year-old that you think potentially one day...
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Assessing the O's minor leagues: Andy MacPhail's take

Assessing the O's minor leagues:  Andy MacPhail's take
When it comes to how the Orioles are doing in the minor leagues these days, the general consensus seems to be good - not great, but better than in some past years. The O's farm system has sent several players to the Majors over the past few years, including some like Brian Matusz and Matt Wieters, who were high draft picks that are projected to be All-Star caliber Major Leaguers during their careers. Today, we begin a series of stories here looking at the Orioles and how they are doing at...
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Six games, 35 runs

Six games, 35 runs
Don't look now, but the offensively-challenged Orioles have scored 35 runs over their past six games with a team average of .316 during the stretch. They have scored 13 runs on 25 hits with four homers in the first two games of the series at Texas. Let's see if they can keep that going, or some semblance of it, tonight vs. Cliff Lee. It's been such a tough year for Chris Tillman that even when he gets to return to the O's mound, this time it's to face a former Cy Young winner. Here are...
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Notes and stats on a wild O's win

Notes and stats on a wild O's win
It was scheduled to start at 8:05 Eastern Time on Friday night, but after a rain delay of two hours and 29 minutes, it started around 10:30 and when it was over it was closing in on 2:30 a.m on Saturday. Corey Patterson's Grand Slam with two outs on a 2-2 pitch in the top of the ninth tied the game and the Orioles got a solo shot from Jake Fox an inning later to post a wild, comeback, 7-6, 10-inning win over Texas on Friday and Saturday. Here are some stats and notes from this crazy...
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Stockstill confirms Veloz signing

Stockstill confirms Veloz signing
Orioles director of international operations, David Stockstill, confirmed in an interview tonight that the Orioles have reached agreement on a deal with 16-year-old Dominican third baseman Hector Veloz. "I can confirm we have agreed to terms," Stockstill said. "He's a third baseman with a lot of tools and some good power. He has a good arm and quick feet. "I'm really proud of our organization for getting this done. This is a player we have scouted for two and a half years. Felipe...
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Minor moves

Minor moves
There were a few roster moves today in the O's farm system. Right-hander Josh Perrault went on the disabled list at Bowie. The 28-year-old Perrault is 0-2, 9.24 over seven games after going 1-4, 2.13 last year between Bowie and Norfolk. Also, lefty Chris George has been transferred from Bowie to Norfolk. Aberdeen lefty Brandon Holloway has been placed on the disabled list. He is 1-1, 0.00 on the year. Over six innings he has given up just three hits and two unearned runs. Frederick,...
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O's reportedly agree to terms with Dominican third baseman

O's reportedly agree to terms with Dominican third baseman
The O's have finally made a splash of sorts on the international signings front. Here is an article from Baseball America on the possible signing of Hector Veloz. It is very unlikely that any O's club official will comment for the record on Veloz. His signing will need to be cleared through Major League Baseball's Dominican office and that could take weeks or months. The reporter mentions in the story that a club official did not return calls when he was seeking comment. Let's just say...
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Updates on Snyder, Erbe and Hobgood

Updates on Snyder, Erbe and Hobgood
Norfolk Tides first baseman Brandon Snyder, who has been out since June 17th, will likely begin a minor league injury rehab assignment sometime next week. Snyder is on Norfolk's disabled list and his injury was listed as a right shoulder strain, but he has also been dealing with an upper back injury. As a player with a full-season minor league team, he must play his rehab games with a short-season club, meaning he will play with Aberdeen, Bluefield, the Gulf Coast League O's or some...
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O's with an impressive comeback win at Texas

O's with an impressive comeback win at Texas
In a season where they are on a pace to lose over 100 games, tonight, for one night at least, the Orioles posted an impressive victory. They spotted the first-place Texas Rangers a 4-0 lead in the third inning, yet rallied to win 6-4 in the opener of a four-game series. Texas began the night with a 50-34 record and leading the AL West by six games. They were 31-15 at home and 17-6 since June 12th. Scott Moore hit a solo homer in the 5th and the O's scored two in the 7th, one on a Felix Pie...
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Poor start at Texas (it got better in the 8th)

Poor start at Texas (it got better in the 8th)
The O's began their four-game series at Texas tonight and it isn't going well so far. They trail 4-0 after three innings. Like last night, the opposing starter is picking up a lot of early strikeouts. Righty Tommy Hunter, who pitched to an ERA of 4.05 at Triple-A, but is 5-0, 1.98 in six Major League starts, has fanned six in three shutout innings. He has allowed a Tejada double and Lugo infield single. Meanwhile, Jeremy Guthrie, who enters tonight with a mark of 0-6, 6.17 over his last...
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Mahoney and Diaz move to Double-A (w-Gomez quotes)

Mahoney and Diaz move to Double-A (w-Gomez quotes)
After today's afternoon game in Frederick, the Orioles promoted Keys first baseman Joe Mahoney and closer Jose Diaz to Double-A Bowie. Mahoney, in 72 games, is batting .299-9-49 with 18 doubles and an OPS of .823. He is batting .341 with runners in scoring position. The 26-year-old Diaz is 3-0, 1.69 and went 12 for 12 in save chances for the Keys. Over 26 2/3 innings he walked nine and fanned 33 and allowed a batting average against of just .216. Even though Robbie Widlansky and Joel...
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Solid late relief on the farm

Solid late relief on the farm
There has been some really good relief pitching on the farm this year for the Orioles. Near or at the top of that list would be right-hander Brandon Cooney, who has excelled at Frederick and now is pitching very well at Bowie. Between the two clubs this year, the 24-year-old, a 30th-round draft pick in 2007, is 4-0 with six saves and an ERA of 0.99 in 30 games. Cooney gave up three runs in his first outing with the Baysox on May 19, but has not allowed an earned run since. That is 19 1/3...
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