The Baltimore Orioles followed Thursday’s minor league movement with more new assignments on Friday.
Thursday’s announced player movement throughout the Baltimore Orioles minor league system was enough to make even the most ardent fan’s head spin; announcements came fast and furious. Even before the dust settled on those moves more moves came on Friday.
The Bowie Baysox (AA) saw LHP Branden Kline recalled to Baltimore to add a fresh arm to the major league bullpen while LHP Zach Muckenhirn was promoted to Norfolk. Recently promoted OF Cole Billingsley was placed on the 7-day IL, a result of a nasty fall he took running to first base in the 9th inning of his first game with the Baysox on Wednesday.
RHP Tim Naughton was promoted from Delmarva (A-Low) to Frederick (A-Adv.) to take Baumann’s place on the roster.
Muckenhirn brings to Norfolk a 2-2 record with three saves, a 3.86 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP over 32.2 innings pitched. He adds an arm to the Tides bullpen that will need it as fresh arms are shuttled between Norfolk and Baltimore.
Diaz’s return should be quite welcome in Bowie as he was swinging a hot bat prior to his paternity leave; so much so that he was named the Eastern League’s Player of the Week for the week of June 10th.
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Baumann, the Orioles 2017 3rd-round draft pick and current #25 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, brings his Carolina League-leading and Frederick Keys team-leading 77 strikeouts to Bowie. Despite a 1-4 record, Baumann earned the promotion on merit and was one of the pitchers most fans had hoped to see move following the All-Star break. He should be a solid addition to the Baysox rotation.
Naughton, Delmarva’s save leader with 12, brings his lights out performance to Frederick and will most definitely be a welcome addition to the Keys bullpen. His 3-3 record, 3.10 ERA and 1.21 WHIP over 29.0 innings pitched is an improvement over current Keys saves leader Diogenes Almengo‘s performance to date.
Baumann and Naughton both are being challenged by a move to a higher level, in my opinion, and should rise up to that challenge. These pitchers both earned their promotions and are poised to do well. The Baltimore Orioles are providing opportunities to those who earn them.
It certainly is a good time to be a Baltimore Orioles farmhand. The question is, are more moves coming?