Shorebirds' Angle steals show

Minor league notebook

July 14, 2008|By Patrick Gutierrez | Patrick Gutierrez,Sun reporter

Single-A Delmarva center fielder Matthew Angle is not one to sit still, particularly when he finds himself standing on first base.

The Shorebirds' leadoff hitter, taken in the seventh round of the 2007 draft out of Ohio State, has 23 stolen bases this season to lead the team. That total is also tops among all players in the Orioles system and comes on the heels of his breaking the Aberdeen single-season stolen-base record set last year with 34.

"As a leadoff guy, you try to get on base, try to steal bases and try to do as much as you can to cause havoc on the base paths," said Angle, who has been thrown out attempting to steal eight times this season. "I'm not much of a power guy, so I try to make up for it in other ways."

A natural right-hander, Angle, who also leads the team with 40 walks, bats from the left side to give him that extra half-step down the line. That approach is becoming increasingly popular among leadoff hitters, and it continues to pay dividends for the speedy outfielder.

After a slow start to the season, Angle began to see positive results from taking a more disciplined approach at the plate, and his numbers improved in the process.

July has been especially kind to the former Buckeye, who is batting .341 this month with five multi-hit games in that span. His average stands at .277, a number he knows has room to improve. Bunting is another aspect he is working on as he looks to take full advantage of his quickness. Overall, he said he was pleased with his progress as a professional.

"I feel like I'm going in the right direction," Angle said. I feel like I've improved on some of the things they want to me improve on, and hopefully I can continue building on those over the next six weeks."

Triple-A Norfolk

Since being optioned back to the Tides in late June after a 2 1/2 -week stay with the Orioles, infielder Oscar Salazar has continued to make a case for a spot with the major league club. He had two more hits Saturday night to give him 95 on the season, most on the team. Salazar also leads the club in average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS and doubles, and is second in home runs (10) and RBIs (59).

Reliever Alberto Castillo was called up by the Orioles on Tuesday to replace Adam Loewen, who went on the 15-day disabled list.

Fellow reliever Kam Mickolio, acquired as part of the Erik Bedard trade, has pitched five innings of no-hit ball since being promoted from Bowie. He has six strikeouts in that span.

Double-A Bowie

Catcher Matt Wieters continues to punish Double-A pitching since being promoted from Frederick two weeks ago. In 17 games with the Baysox, he is batting .350 and has an OPS of 1.026. He also carried a 10-game hitting streak into yesterday's game.

Despite getting the loss Saturday, pitcher David Hernandez continues to impress, tossing six innings of three-hit ball. His only mistake was a double to Harrisburg's Seth Bynum that scored the only run of the game. His record is 5-2, and he lowered his ERA to 2.63.

Single-A Frederick

Right fielder Brandon Tripp hit his team-leading 11th home run Thursday. The 23-year-old is batting .324 in July to raise his average to .244.

Reliever Chad Thall has not allowed an earned run in his past 10 appearances dating to June 12. He is 1-0 with a 2.83 ERA this season and has eight saves.

Single-A Aberdeen

Pitcher Chris Salberg improved to 3-0 with the IronBirds after getting the win against Auburn on Wednesday. He has a 1.50 ERA in five starts after starting the season with Delmarva. Shortstop Jedidiah Stephen has gone deep three times in four games to bring his season home run total to five.

patrick.gutierrez@baltsun.com

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