Roch Kubatko

A Familiar Pick

Roch Kubatko -Premium Content

When Orioles scouting director Joe Jordan went to bed the night before the amateur draft, he already knew which three players would be chosen ahead of his turn. He was on the clock before his head hit the pillow. Jordan had to decide between San Diego lefthander Brian Matusz and South Carolina first baseman Justin Smoak. After much deliberation, he chose Matusz.

Majors | #2008#Baltimore Orioles#Organization Reports

Minor Change, Big Results

Roch Kubatko -Premium Content

If Jim Johnson can't crack a major league rotation, perhaps he can make a nice living in the bullpen. He certainly made an impression on the Orioles, who added him to the major league roster as a 13th pitcher and watched him thrive in a relief role. Johnson didn't allow a run in his first nine innings and might compel the club to keep him once it returns to a 12-man staff.<br/>

Majors | #2008#Baltimore Orioles#Organization Reports

Sliver Of Hope

Roch Kubatko -Premium Content

Once the Orioles begin interleague play in National League ballparks, where the designated hitter is not used, 29-year-old infielder Oscar Salazar finally could return to the majors. It's been a while. Salazar appeared in eight games with the Tigers in 2002, batting .190 in 21 at-bats. Injuries kept him down the next few years, but he's on the rise again.

Majors | #2008#Baltimore Orioles#Organization Reports

Orioles Organization Report

Roch Kubatko -Premium Content

Catcher Matt Wieters, the fifth overall pick in the June draft out of Georgia Tech, was trying to get into playing shape after a long layoff following the draft. He reported to short-season Aberdeen after signing his contract, but he didn't appear in a game until the Orioles assigned him to the Honolulu Sharks in Hawaii Winter Baseball.

Majors | #2008#Baltimore Orioles#Organization Reports