With Monday's 7 p.m. amateur draft looming, the Orioles are basically in the same spot they were in a few days ago.
They're waiting for the potential multimillion-dollar dominoes to fall.
The Orioles have sharpened their list of potential players to take No. 4 overall, but who will be there seemingly has not been determined. The top players available include UCLA right-handers Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer, Virginia lefty Danny Hultzen, Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon and Oklahoma prep pitcher Dylan Bundy.
"Nothing has really changed; we are waiting to get information on the clubs in front of us, and we'll then try to figure out our plans," said Joe Jordan, who is in charge of his seventh draft as the Orioles' director of amateur scouting. "We are more in the wait-and-see mode right now, which means we are getting close."
The Pittsburgh Pirates pick first and could be leaning toward Cole, a prototypical power pitcher who can reach 100 mph with his fastball. The Seattle Mariners choose second and are reportedly looking to boost their offense and could tab Rendon, who is considered a plus offensive and defensive player assuming he can rebound from an injured shoulder which has sapped his power and limited him to six games in the field in 2011.
At least partial medical records on Rendon's shoulder have been released to all major league clubs. Whether teams are comfortable enough with the results to invest a top pick and a significant signing bonus in Rendon is one of the more intriguing storylines of this draft.
With the third pick, the Diamondbacks have been linked to Bauer, Hultzen and Bundy, with some pundits expecting Arizona to take the eccentric Bauer.
If that happens, the Orioles would be left to choose between Hultzen, a Bethesda native who is considered the most polished pitcher available, and Bundy, who may have highest upside and is the brother of Frederick Keys starter Bobby Bundy.
"We would have a tough decision to make," Jordan said.
The Orioles like both and would almost certainly grab the one that remains if Arizona snags the other. Orioles manager Buck Showalter has been following the matter with intense interest but said that ultimately it is up to Jordan to make the call.
"I am aware of what's going on. You've got to be blind not to know what's going on in the draft and the names mentioned," Showalter said. "But as far as calling up Joe and saying take this guy or that guy and him doing it, I hope not. No. But there's not [many] secrets this time of year, unless it is trying to find a physical on somebody."
Scott gets cortisone shot
The Orioles had a man on base and two outs in the ninth inning of Sunday's 7-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays when Robert Andino came to the plate against right-hander Jon Rauch. It was the perfect time to use Luke Scott as a pinch-hitter, but Showalter stuck with Andino, who was called out on a questionable third strike.
After the game, Showalter revealed that Scott had a cortisone injection in his ailing right shoulder Sunday and the manager did not want to put him in the game in any circumstance.
"He'll be available [Monday]," Showalter said. "They did it before the game, and he told me that he thought he could probably pinch hit, but for me that wasn't an option, and I certainly wasn't going to broadcast it before the game."
Scott has a torn labrum that limits his ability to throw in left field and to hit with authority. Last year's team Most Valuable Player is batting .224 with six homers and 19 RBIs in 46 games.
"I've been doing a lot of scapula exercises and it has been feeling better, but it still bothers me and, subconsciously, it is a challenge to deal with," he said. "So I saw this as an opportunity to get a cortisone shot and see where that goes."
If the cortisone shot does not help, Scott said that doesn't mean he is headed toward the disabled list and in-season surgery. He has elected to play through the problem — which he has been dealing with all season — and is hopeful his situation will improve.
"Obviously, it is impacting my hitting. I have had trouble turning on balls. It is my lead shoulder, which is the most important. That's what takes the bat to the ball," Scott said. "It's a challenge, but it happens in this game, happens in life. So what are you going to do with it? I could complain, I can try to make excuses: 'But, hey, I have a torn labrum, and that's why I am not hitting.' I am not making any excuses. It's a challenge for me, but I believe I can still do a good job."
Klein shut down at Bowie
Dan Klein, the organization's second pick in the 2010 amateur draft and perhaps the best pitching prospect in the Orioles' farm system, has been shut down with a shoulder injury.