McCrory on a fast track

Bowie pitcher envisioned for back-end relief

Baseball

Orioles Minor league notebook

August 13, 2007|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN REPORTER

When James Hoey left Double-A Bowie last season on his way to the majors, Baysox pitching coach Scott McGregor thought he wouldn't see an arm like that again for a while.

Then along came Bob McCrory.

A fourth-round pick in the 2003 draft out of Southern Mississippi, McCrory has thrust himself into the Orioles' prospect picture - with vigor.

His fastball touches 98 mph, and he unleashes a two-seamer that ranges from 95 to 98 mph. He also has a good breaking ball and a developing changeup that he used more effectively at the Single-A level.

McCrory posted a 1.23 ERA and 14 saves in 22 games at Single-A Frederick before moving up to Bowie. Heading into yesterday, he was 1-2 with a 4.24 ERA and 10 saves with the Baysox and had not allowed a run in five straight appearances, six of seven and eight of 10. Overall, he has struck out 40 in 39 innings this season.

"He's durable, he's got a nice delivery, good makeup on the mound, good kid," McGregor said.

He also has had to be a fast healer.

McCrory missed the 2003 season with a sprained elbow and appeared in only five games at short-season Single-A Aberdeen in 2005 before undergoing ligament-replacement surgery. He spent 2006 with the IronBirds, going 2-2 with a 2.33 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings spanning 20 games.

McGregor believes that McCrory, 25, can be a late-inning reliever in the majors, in a setup role or closing.

"He's a back-end guy, no doubt about it, with that kind of stuff and that kind of makeup," McGregor said.

Triple-A Norfolk

First baseman Mike Cervenak still is ranked second in hits in the International League. His total stood at 129 after Saturday's game. ... Catcher Alberto Castillo reached base safely in 19 straight home games before the weekend, a streak that dated back to May 19. ... In 54 home games, catcher J.R. House was batting .327 with a .396 on-base percentage and .444 slugging percentage. ... Second baseman Bo Hart, a late addition to the roster, was batting .320 in his past nine games. ... Left-hander Craig Anderson was 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his past two starts.

Double-A Bowie

Catcher Eli Whiteside still isn't available after leaving the Aug. 5 game against Trenton on a stretcher. Whiteside was involved in a violent collision at home plate. ... Outfielder Nolan Reimold was activated from the disabled list - an oblique injury kept him away from the Baysox from May 10 through July 31 - and he batted .297 with three home runs, seven RBIs and seven runs scored in 10 games. ... Third baseman Oscar Salazar was second in the Eastern League with 82 RBIs and ranked second with 53 extra-base hits, third with 127 hits and fourth with 19 home runs. Over his past 10 games, Salazar was batting .389 with three homers, 11 RBIs and nine runs scored.

Single-A Frederick

Third baseman Ryan Finan was third in the Carolina League with a .388 on-base percentage before the weekend. He reached base in 20 straight road games, batting .316 with a .402 on-base percentage during a streak that dated back to June 22. ... In his past 10 games, first baseman Mark Fleisher collected three home runs and seven RBIs. Fleisher had 34 extra-base hits (12 homers, 22 doubles) and a .457 slugging percentage. ... Second baseman Jonathan Tucker was batting .458 during a six-game hitting streak.

Single-A Delmarva

Third baseman Billy Rowell reached base in 23 straight game heading into the weekend. ... Outfielder Brandon Tripp continued to lead the Shorebirds in home runs (14) and runs scored (61) heading into the weekend. He was hitting .329 in 43 road games and .250 in 45 home games. ... First baseman Christopher Vinyard led Delmarva in doubles (29) and RBIs (69). He had three multi-hit games in a six-game stretch. ... First baseman Brandon Snyder led Delmarva in hits (117) and was batting .331 since the All-Star break after posting a .258 average in the first half.

Short-season teams

Outfielders Matthew Angle and Joseph Nowicki, shortstop Tyler Henson and pitcher Zachary Jevne will represent Aberdeen in tomorrow's New York-Penn League All-Star Game. ... John Mariotti of Aberdeen allowed one earned run in his first 20 2/3 innings. ... Joseph Esposito of Aberdeen struck out 38 batters in his first 35 1/3 innings and posted a 2.29 ERA in 16 games. ... Bluefield outfielder Kraig Binick was second in the Appalachian League with 61 hits and was fourth with a .332 average. He also had a .436 on-base percentage and 43 runs scored. ... Shortstop Jason White of Bluefield led the league with 20 doubles and 24 extra-base hits. ... Left-handers Conrad Orman and Cole McCurry and led the Gulf Coast League with seven and six wins, respectively.

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

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