O's don't think they've struck out with Loewen

Beattie calls relationship with draft pick `cordial'

Notebook

Minor League Baseball

April 21, 2003|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

After a prolonged conversation with his agent, the Orioles are convinced that pitcher Adam Loewen, the fourth overall selection in last June's draft, hasn't ruled out signing with them.

Loewen continues to pitch for Chipola (Fla.) Junior College, where he has won all five decisions. The left-hander struck out 12 in eight innings Friday against Tallahassee.

Because he's a draft-and-follow, the Orioles can't resume negotiations with him until Chipola's final game. If no deal is made before the June 3 draft, the Orioles would relinquish their rights.

The window to sign him shrinks if Chipola qualifies for the state tournament. The team began the weekend in first place in the Panhandle Conference, and the top two teams advance. The Orioles will have a minimum of four days to negotiate.

A published report last weekend indicated that Loewen was informing teams that he wouldn't sign with the Orioles, which worried club officials. Executive vice presidents Jim Beattie and Mike Flanagan, and scouting director Tony DeMacio, have maintained contact with Loewen's agent, Mike Moye, who assured them the story wasn't accurate.

"I talked to Mike Moye because we've heard the rumors," Beattie said. "Everything's fine. The relationship has been very cordial. We can't talk about things right now, but they know we've been staying in touch with him, seeing all of his innings.

"I just felt like I needed to confirm that we weren't missing anything. [Moye] said, `Absolutely not.' He said, `I would never advise him to do that.' "

A source close to Loewen said the report was "totally false."

"Adam has talked to no one," the source said. "He certainly hasn't ruled out the Orioles. At best, it was hearsay, and probably hearsay on top of hearsay."

The Orioles initially offered Loewen a $2 million signing bonus, but Moye countered at $4.8 million. Moye apparently was willing to lower his price to $3.9 million, while the Orioles indicated they would go as high as $2.5 million.

It appears they'll have to do much better to secure Loewen. He's projected as a top three pick if he re-enters the draft and could go first.

The Orioles would receive a compensation pick between the first two rounds if they don't sign him.

Triple-A Ottawa

The Lynx have dropped five in a row, including yesterday's 5-2 loss to Buffalo. ... Left-hander Mike Mohler allowed two homers Saturday while remaining in a slump. ... Going into yesterday, all three Lynx outfielders continued to keep their averages above .300: Darnell McDonald (.333), Larry Bigbie (.327) and Luis Matos (.306). ... Jack Cust, acquired from the Colorado Rockies during spring training for outfielder Chris Richard, was batting .195 with one home run. He led the team with 16 walks, four more than Brian Roberts, who got off to a good start before his average slipped to .283. ... Catcher Izzy Molina went on the disabled list with bone chips in his right elbow, and Mike Seestedt was promoted from Single-A Frederick despite a .143 average. ... Sean Douglass is 0-3 with a 5.25 ERA in three starts. John Stephens is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts.

Double-A Bowie

Shortstop Ed Rogers remains at extended spring training with a sore back. He hasn't appeared in a game this season. ... It took 23 games for Bowie to get its first road victory last season. This year, the Baysox needed only three. Former first-round draft pick Mike Paradis allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings, as Bowie defeated Harrisburg, 4-3. ... Infielder Joey Hammond, filling in for Rogers at shortstop, was 8-for-12 in the opening series and had 10 hits in his first 16 at-bats. ... Matt Riley threw six no-hit innings April 12 but was removed before the seventh after reaching his pitch count. John Parrish allowed a hit to the first batter he faced. ... Napoleon Calzado's nine-game hitting streak ended. ... Infielder Brian Rios was sent down from Ottawa on April 9. ... Eddy Rodriguez earned his first save Saturday in a 6-5, 10-inning victory over Altoona.

Single-A Frederick

The Keys have lost their past eight season openers. They were outscored 42-12 in their three-game series against Lynchburg. ... Rommie Lewis, a reliever last year at Single-A Delmarva, is starting for the Keys. He posted a 0.82 ERA in his first two outings, but the Keys twice blew 6-1 leads. ... Catcher Henry Guerrero joined the team from extended spring training after Seestedt moved up to Ottawa. ... Infielder Henry Quattlebaum was activated from the disabled list Tuesday. Outfielder Adam Manley took his place. ... Center fielder Woody Cliffords' hitting streak ended at six games.

Single-A Delmarva

Delmarva started off 5-0 but has lost seven of nine. ... The Shorebirds came within one out of a perfect game in their opener, then broke up a Charleston no-hit bid in the ninth inning two days later. ... Scott McCurdy retired 11 of the last 13 batters he faced in a 6-4 win over Charleston, and 18 of 23 in his next start. ... Delmarva's bullpen began the season with 15 1/3 scoreless innings. ... Shorebirds pitchers walked nine batters in 45 innings, then 12 in the next 18. ... Val Majewski, a third-round pick in last year's draft, hit his first home run Tuesday. ... Delmarva's roster includes Dustin Yount, son of Hall of Famer Robin Yount, and Joe Coppinger, brother of former Orioles pitcher Rocky Coppinger. Yount hit his first homer Wednesday.

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