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June 8, 2011

Orioles tidbits: Klein to get MRI; Bucs may look at Fox; John Carroll's drafted duo

Right-hander Dan Klein, one of the Orioles’ top minor league pitching prospects, is scheduled to have a precautionary MRI of his right shoulder Monday when the Bowie Baysox return home from a road trip.

Klein, 22, has excelled in the minors for the Orioles since being drafted in the third round out of UCLA last year, going from short-season Single-A Aberdeen to Double-A Bowie in a few months.

Used as a reliever with the Baysox, he began experiencing discomfort in the shoulder last week and could not get loose Sunday. He was shut down and placed on the seven-day disabled list. The soreness continued on Wednesday.

Klein had exploratory shoulder surgery in 2009 and missed his sophomore season at UCLA.

We’ll know in 48 hours whether Jake Fox has been claimed off waivers -- and it was assumed there was a 50 percent chance he would be. But that may have gotten a little higher.

The Pittsburgh Pirates, who had interest in Fox this spring, may need another catcher type. Starter Chris Snyder left Wednesday’s game after sliding awkwardly into second base. It was listed as a sore back. Back issues landed Snyder on the DL to start the season.

Only two Maryland high schoolers (not to be confused with college kids who went to high school in Maryland) were selected in this year’s MLB draft, and both were John Carroll kids taken by the Orioles: third baseman Kevin Hockaday in the 14th round and first baseman Brendan Butler in the 50th round.

John Carroll coach Joe Stetka, who is also an associate Orioles scout, couldn’t be prouder. Here are some of Stetka’s thoughts on his senior duo.

On their being drafted: “It is a good day for Maryland and Harford County and for Baltimore. These are two class kids.”

On Hockaday, who is committed to Maryland: “He is built like a thoroughbred; there is not an ounce of fat on him. He is going to be a corner guy or outfielder. We had him at shortstop, but he wasn’t a shortstop. I joked with him that the only time he’d see shortstop down the road is running from second.”

On Butler, who is committed to Towson: “He has a tremendous work ethic and amazing speed -- he ran a 6.5 60-yard dash. He can play third or first, he’s got great hands and footwork. Somebody is not going to be disappointed in him no matter where they put him, whether it is the Orioles or Towson.”

On both of them: “Two kids from the same high school, drafted by the same major league team, their hometown team -- I don’t know what odds are, but it is remarkable. I am just thrilled they have been drafted.”

On both of them again: “These are two of the greatest kids I probably ever coached, and I coached my son, so that is saying something. They made it fun for me. I tried to make it fun for them, but they made it fun for me, too.”

Posted by Dan Connolly at 9:16 PM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Minors


I've been saying it for a while, but as the weather warms up, we're going to see more of those Reynolds' fly balls float out of the yard. He's never played in a cold weather environment, but now in the northeastern heat and a hitters park, the bombs will start coming.

I'd still bet on 40

Too bad about Klein. He's quite a talent, but this is why you don't risk a high draft pick on a kid that has already had shoulder surgery at age 21.

On another topic, I've been saying all year, that there was no comparison between Bergeson and Tillman and if Buck would just let Brad settle in, he'd pitch like he did in the 2nd half last year. Check on the first 2 starts for him and Tillman down in Norfolk - Brad pitched a 102pitch complete game shutout tonight while Tillman has had 2 100 pitch 5 inning outings. Hope to see BB back in Baltimore soon

'may need another catcher type'

This sums up the Fox. 'Another Catcher Type'

Not the 'Pirates need a Catcher'. No, they need a 'Catcher Type'. If you are stuck being a utility player, it is probably wise to actually be good at fielding a position, or being known for a position, as opposed to being 'a catcher type'.

Think it is time for the Fox to get ready to start selling P&C insurance at his local State Farm office.

Dan - maybe I missed something, but what is the story on moving Klein back to the bullpen. Seems they made the decision to give up on him starting awfully quick.

Klein being in the bullpen was more about limiting his innings this year.. Although I wouldn't mind seeing them commit a good arm to developing their own closer not paying 5-10 million every year to try someone out..

I agree with Christopher on Reynolds hitting 40 HR's. The weather issue is huge, so the warm weather will only help, but I also think he is getting used to the AL pitchers and the AL parks.


Do you think Markakis should be hitting lower in the order? I was thinking maybe if he was hitting lower in the order, some of the pressure would be off him. I am at a loss on how Markakis can't even hit doubles anymore?

Jeff Z's reply: I've actually been advocating sitting him for two or three consecutive games. I thought that was an overreaction early, but he looks worse and worse at the plate as the days go on. I guess dropping him in the order would work, too.


The organizational philosophy with pitchers is that they shouldn't pitch more than 10%-20% more innings than the previous year. Last year, between UCLA and Aberdeen Klein pitched about 60 innings. That means this year he should get about 65-75 innings.

The O's like him as a starter, with four plus pitches and a starter's makeup, but for him to be limited to that many innings and start would mean he'd get either 10-12 six inning starts or 12-15 five inning starts for the entire season. In that scenario, either he pitches for two months and is shut down for the rest of the year or he pitches once every ten days. Being in the bullpen the team can monitor his innings, put him in pressure situations, and pitch him throughout the entire season.

Hey guys, any talk out there about how the draft system needs some altering? I mean, should the team that wins the AL East and has the second best record in MLB the year before really get 10 out of the first 60 picks while the 4th worst team gets 1 our of 60?

I understand how it is setup with compensation picks for lost FAs and all, I just don't think it does what it is supposed to do. Basically, it rewards teams for their players having big years in contract years. I'm ok with compensating teams for lost stars, but should it be so early on in the draft when the bottom feeders need those picks the most?

And I probably wouldn't be thinking this if our farm system was remotely good or if our big league team was winning, but it just doesn't seem to make any sense.

Jeff Z's reply: I agree with you. I think this system needs to be altered big time, and there are a lot of people in the game who feel the same way.

Well obviously we know who the Orioles listen to ,they wouldn't return calls and I know that two kids that were more upside weren't drafted .It is a sin that our scouting group can't return a phone call.Funny John Saurholtz always calls back.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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