September Call-Ups Mean New Faces for Baltimore Orioles

Nick CafferkyCorrespondent IAugust 30, 2010

September Call-Ups Mean New Faces for Baltimore Orioles

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    ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 10:  Pitcher Chris Tillman #24 of the Baltimore Orioles throws against the Texas Rangers on July 10, 2010 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    On Sept. 1, the roster for every baseball team in the MLB expand for the last month of the season. For some, it doesn't change much; those are the teams that are in pennant races. 

    However for teams that are already looking towards 2011, like the Baltimore Orioles, the occasion allows the team to look at the prospects who could possibly be the future of the organization.

    Though the Orioles are on a bit of a roll (they are about to finish with a winning record in the month of August for the first time since 2003), manager Buck Showalter will certainly look to take advantage of the opportunity to see his youngsters in action before next year's Spring Training.

    Here are some of the faces you could see over the next month; some of them may seem familiar.

Rick VandenHurk

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    BALTIMORE - AUGUST 22:  Rick VandenHurk #54 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches against the Texas Rangers at Camden Yards on August 22, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland.  The Rangers beat the Orioles 6-4. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    VandenHurk was part of the trade that sent Will Ohman to Florida and although he was sent to AAA initially, he was quickly brought up to Baltimore.

    Since then, he has sparingly been used out of the bullpen.

    VandenHurk has given up two earned runs in 5.1 innings pitched out of the pen, but he is still seen as a starting pitcher.

    Look for Showalter to give him a couple of opportunities to start and see what he's got. 

Chris Tillman

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    ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 10:  Pitcher Chris Tillman #24 of the Baltimore Orioles throws against the Texas Rangers on July 10, 2010 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Tillman has been up and down the Orioles system, so the O's pitcher may seem old; however, he is still only 22 and the organization has all but given up on him.

    The Orioles pitcher has intrigued management because of his mercurial year in both AAA and in the majors.

    Some nights, he dominates every batter that steps up against him, while other nights it seems like he is in well over his head.

    Tillman's last started in July 19, when the Rays lit into him for eight runs in just 2.2 innings.

    This came nine days after his breakthrough performance when he gave up just one run in 7.1 against Texas.

    Showalter will certainly want to watch the youngster so he can get his take on his potential.

Zach Britton

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    ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 11:  U.S. Futures All-Star Zach Britton #12 of the Baltimore Orioles throws a pitch during the 2010 XM All-Star Futures Game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 11, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Britton has spent time in AA Bowie and AAA Norfolk and is probably going to be the organization's Minor League Player of the Year. 

    His 2.72 ERA in 2010 during his stints with both teams has impressed just about everyone that has seen him and has baffled batters, despite not having a blazing fastball or a dazzling curveball.

    There is no doubt that Britton deserves a call up with his body of work this year, but his innings total might hinder him.

    Britton has pitched 142.1 innings this season, which has already surpassed the 140 he pitched in 2009.

    It is unlikely that he will get more that two or three more starts, so although he deserves to put on an Orioles uniform, it is more likely he'll get a pat on the back and be shut down until he finally gets an invite to Spring Training. 

Nolan Reimold

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    NEW YORK - JULY 20:  Nolan Reimold #14 of the Baltimore Orioles bats against the New York Yankees on July 20, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Remember this guy?

    Reimold has had one hell of a year and after battling through a myriad of batting woes, looks to be on his way back to the guy he was in 2009 before tearing his Achilles heel.

    In the month of August, Reimold is batting .326 with two home runs and 12 RBI. In addition, his OBP is .462, which is over 90 percentage points higher than any other month.

    Because of the recent success, there is no doubt he has earned a promotion to show he is ready to be back.

    Reimold's biggest problem is that his spot has been taken and it is uncertain where he would get time.

    Felix Pie, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis make up an outfield that is very productive for Buck Showalter; so much so that Cory Patterson is having trouble finding at-bats.

    Reimold has practiced a little at first base, but I highly doubt that Showalter will let Reimold spent much time there.

    With all of that being said, where does our former superstar-in-the-making get time to show he's back?

Troy Patton

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    SARASOTA, FL - FEBRUARY 27:  Troy Patton #40 of the Baltimore Orioles poses for a photo during Spring Training Media Photo Day at Ed Smith Stadium  on February 27, 2010 in Sarasota, Florida.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Patton's numbers might not suggest a promotion, but he shows flashes of brilliance that gets the organization jumping for joy.

    For example, he gave up just one earned run in six innings on June 30 and then followed it up by giving up two in seven innings on July 7.

    The problem is that he has performances like the 5.1-inning and six-run outing on June 25, or the 4.2 innings where he gave up seven runs on July 16.

    Patton has been Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ever since his torn labrum and I don't think anyone is quite sure what to make of him.

    Showalter obviously has a ton of arms to look at in the next month, but I think that Patton will be one of them because he shows that he still has the upside he had when the Orioles traded Miguel Tejada for him in 2007.