Bird Seed: Orioles Prospect Pulse, May 25

Zachary Ball@MLBDraftCntdwnAnalyst IMay 26, 2009

The Orioles ended days of speculation, announcing that they intend to call up right-hander Jason Berken from Norfolk to take Adam Eaton's spot in the rotation.

Dave Trembley said a few days ago that the call would be "somebody who deserves a shot, who's earned it, will throw strikes."

In terms of Berken...check, check, check. 

Berken sports a 25-18 record, a 3.74 career ERA, 319 strikeouts, and 109 walks in 375 innings. Sounds good to me.

More important, how about that start from Jeremy Guthrie last night? Seven solid innings. The Orioles haven't seen a start like that in about three weeks. 

Let's hope Berken can do something along the lines of that tonight against Toronto. I'd settle for five or six strong innings—and a second start. Who, last winter, could have envisioned a rotation with Berken, Brad Bergesen, Koji Uehara, Rich Hill, and Jeremy Guthrie?

Better yet, who could have foreseen one with Guthrie, Uehara, Mark Hendrickson, Eaton, and Alfredo Simon? Either way we're up fudge creek, pretty much.

Let's see how things went down on the farm.

Waters Leads Norfolk to 5-2 Victory

Behind six great innings by lefty Chris Waters, the Tides shut down the Toledo Mud Hens. The lefty picked up his fifth win on the season despite his considerable lack of control. Only 59 of his 99 pitches went for strikes, and he finished with five walks.

The bullpen pitched a solid three innings, all scoreless. Kam Mickolio continued to show his improved form, pitching another two scoreless innings and lowering his ERA to a respectable 4.96. I say respectable because his ERA has hovered around the 8-9.00 mark most of the season.

Jim Miller pitched a scoreless ninth for his 11th save of the season. That number leads all Orioles minor leaguers.

At the plate it was a team effort, as seven of nine Tides players had hits. Their five runs were driven in by outfielder Justin Christian, infielders Jolbert Cabrera, Justin Turner, and newly promoted Brandon Pinckney, and catcher Steve Torrealba. Christian also paved the way with two stolen bases.

Abreu, Nowicki Pace Baysox

Joe Nowicki hit a two-run homer, which paced the Baysox to a 3-2 victory. Infielder turned outfielder Jonathan Tucker had three hits on the night, scoring a run, and Miguel Abreu knocked two doubles, scoring on Nowicki's homer.

Nowicki's two-run home run came in the second inning, so it was left up to Sean Gleason and the bullpen to hold the lead.

Gleason more than obliged, allowing only a run apiece in the second and third innings. Aside from that, he scattered eight hits over five innings, striking out four. He also picked up his second win.

Chad Thall also pitched two good innings, striking out three. Lastly, Wilfrido Perez and Josh Perrault seem to have switched roles, with the latter taking up the save opportunities, picking up his fifth of the year. Between Perez and Perrault, the two have 12 saves on the year and a combined 1.45 ERA.

Team Effort All Around Adds Up to Shorebirds' 4-3 Victory

A rehabbing Luke Scott led the way, notching two hits, including a solo home run in Delmarva's 4-3 win last night. Tyler Kolodny, Greg Miclat, and Luis Bernardo all tabbed a RBI, and speedster Kyle Hudson scored two runs—one aided by his 14th stolen base of the year. 

On the mound, it was a team effort as well, with Nathan Moreau tossing four-and-two-thirds innings, striking out five. Raul Rivero came on in relief of Moreau to toss 2.1 quality innings and notched his fourth win of the year.

After Rivero, it was Joe Esposito's turn, and he didn't disappoint in an inning and a third. Last but not least, one of the hottest pitchers in the system, Brandon Cooney, came on and pitched two-thirds of scoreless ball, striking out one and picking up his seventh save.

Hitter of the Night

OF Joe Nowicki: 1-for-4, two-run HR (3), 1 K

Pitcher of the Night

LHP Chris Waters: W (5-2) 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 K, 5 BB

Goat of the Night

OF Ambiorix Concepcion: 0-for-4, 3 K


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