Four earn promotion to IronBirds

Snyder, three pitchers get chance in Aberdeen

Minor league notebook

Baseball

August 29, 2005|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

While September call-ups to the Orioles are on tap for later this week, four prospects at the Rookie-level team in Bluefield have been promoted to the Single-A level.

The Orioles No. 1 and No. 3 round draft picks in June, catcher Brandon Snyder and right-handed pitcher Brandon Erbe from McDonogh, are among the four who arrived in Aberdeen yesterday.

Ryan Stadanlick, a 10th-round pick as a right-handed pitcher, and pitcher Kyle Schmidt joined Snyder and Erbe on the IronBirds.

Snyder, who is 6 feet 2 and 205 pounds, was batting .271 with eight homers and 35 RBIs and eight doubles at Bluefield when the club made the move Saturday.

"Brandon uses his hands very well at the bat and has a very quick and explosive bat," said David Stockstill, the Orioles' director of minor league operations.

"He has a lot to learn as a catcher and has been battling a tired arm. You know he has only started as a catcher within the last year, and it's going to take some time."

Erbe was scheduled to pitch Saturday night in Bluefield, but the game was rained out. The hard-throwing Erbe was 1-1 with one save and a 3.09 ERA at Bluefield with 48 strikeouts and 10 walks in 23 1/3 innings in the Appalachian League.

"Brandon has shown us an outstanding arm, has a good work ethic, and has really good movement on his fastball which has been in the 93-95 mph range," Stockstill said.

"And he occasionally hits 97. He's a class kid with a really bright future."

Stockstill said Erbe, who was used primarily as a three-to-four inning pitcher at Bluefield, will also be used out of the bullpen at Aberdeen.

Schmidt was 4-2 with a 4.61 ERA at Bluefield, while Stadanlickwas 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA.

Triple-A Ottawa

The slumping Lynx has fallen 10 games out of first in the International League's North Division at 66-70.

Infielders Bernie Castro and Napoleon Calzado continue their hot hitting with .319 and .316 averages, respectively.

There is a slight possibility that Castro will be called up soon and an even better chance that Walter Young, a first baseman/DH, would be. Young is batting .287 with 13 homers and 80 RBIs.

Double-A Bowie

Right-handed closer Sendy Rleal has been solid for the Baysox (71-64) after the Orioles brought up Chris Ray twice.

Rleal, who is 4-4 with a 2.23 ERA in 64 2/3 innings, earned his 15th save Saturday night in a 3-1 win at Reading.

"I feel very comfortable closing, I can do it," said Rleal, who took over for Ray. "I've gotten stronger since last year by working hard and running a lot."

"Sendy's changeup is very consistent," Stockstill said.

"He's not huge, is wiry with a good frame, and is a guy who improved a lot at the end of last season, and it has carried over."

Single-A Frederick

With center fielder Jeff Fiorentino leading off, the Keys' lineup has become potent in the Carolina League.

The North Division-leading Keys (36-24, three games ahead of first-half winner Lynchburg) have been led by their offense. Fiorentino (.281) has 19 homers and 55 RBIs while Mario Delgado (.305) leads the team with 22 homers and 72 RBIs.

Branden Florence (.325) has 15 homers and has 47 RBIs, followed by Dustin Yount (.254) and Bryan Bass (.240) who have 12 homers and 48 RBIs each.

Nolan Reimold (.302) has four homers and seven RBIs in his first 12 games with the Keys.

Single-A Delmarva

The bats of Jason Fransz and Jake Duncan have the Shorebirds (39-21) rolling to a likely playoff berth in the South Atlantic League. Fransz and Duncan are batting .306 each.

"Those two guys have been solid all year," Shorebirds manager Gary Kendall said.

"And the rest of the team has picked it up around Jason and Jake, and that's why we have been so successful in the second half."

Also, the pitching of Carlos Perez (11-7, 4.20 ERA), Luis Ramirez (9-6, 2.46 ERA) and Kevin Hart (9-7, 4.62 ERA) have contributed to the second-half surge.

Rookie-level Bluefield

Infielder Rene Aqueron continues to lead the team in batting at .405, while shortstop Stu Musslewhite is batting .294 followed by Jon Tucker at .287.

Orioles farm report

Three up

With Jeff Fiorentino's 60 leading the way, the Keys have seven players with 45 or more runs scored.

After walking five in his first start at Delmarva after his move from Aberdeen, Radhames Liz did not walk a batter in six innings and struck out eight with a no-decision Wednesday in a 5-4 win over Lakewood.

Alberto Bastardo, who is 4-1 with a 4.23 ERA in 38 1/3 innings, is the only pitcher with a winning record at Bluefield.

Three down

Aberdeen (24-40) has the worst road record (8-22) of any team in the Orioles' farm system and the IronBirds are 20 1/2 games out of first place in the New York-Penn League.

Chorye Spoone has fallen to 2-5 with his ERA increasing to 7.23 in 23 2/3 innings at Bluefield.

Since being promoted from Bluefield to Aberdeen, outfielder Bobby Andrews has struggled and his average has slipped to .214.

On deck

Leading Lynchburg, the first-half winner by three games in the Carolina League's North Division, the Keys host the Hillcats for four games from Tuesday through Friday.

Maryland spotlight

Scott Neuberger

Position: Outfielder, R/R

Size: 6 feet 3, 227 pounds

Age: 28

Hometown: Severna Park

High school: Severna Park

Orioles farm reportThree up

College: Tallahassee (Fla.) CC

Late draft by Tampa Bay in 1996. Signed with Devil Rays before 1997 draft.

Pro team: Promoted from Double-A Montgomery to Triple-A Durham, a Tampa Bay affiliate, his second time at Triple-A.

Statistics: batting .231 in 31 games, 13 runs, six doubles, five homers, 15 RBIs.

Skinny: Playing his eighth year in the minors after being released after 2003 season (did not play in 2004), he signed with Pittsburgh's Double-A Altoona this year before rejoining Tampa Bay.

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