Orioles Waiting On Cuban Import
BALTIMORE—The Orioles plan to assign Cuban corner outfielder Henry Urrutia to Double-A Bowie, but it's going to be a process.
First, they need to get him into the U.S. He's currently working out at their academy in the Dominican Republic, and they deny that visa issues are holding up his arrival. And second, they want him to work out at their minor league complex in Sarasota, Fla., before he joins the second-highest affiliate in their farm system.
Fred Ferreira, hired in December as executive director of international recruiting, is responsible for signing the 25-year-old Urrutia, a switch-hitter who represented Cuba in the 2010 World Championships.
He played for Las Tunas in Cuba's major league, Serie Nacional, from 2006-10. Urrutia, who received a $778,500 bonus from the Orioles, batted .397/.461/.597 with 12 homers, 32 walks and 23 strikeouts in 305 at-bats in his final season in Cuba.
"He's a good-looking athlete," said Ferreira, whose list of signees over the years includes Vladimir Guerrero, Bernie Williams, Orlando Cabrera, Jose Vidro, Roberto Kelly and Javier Vazquez.
"He's put together very well. He's a switch-hitting outfielder, and I love his lefthanded swing with power. I think he's going to be a good lefthanded hitter with power. He's an exciting, aggressive hitter."
With just a few weeks left in the minor league season, Urrutia must get to Bowie soon if he's going to progress as Ferreira envisions.
"It's not going to take him that long," Ferreira said. "He's a player who's going to come quickly. He won't be down long.
"I wouldn't be surprised if he starts out at Double-A and moves up to Triple-A, and maybe he gets a look in September. It very well could happen. He has that kind of makeup."
• Bowie righthander Bobby Bundy, the older brother of top prospect Dylan Bundy, had surgery to shave down a bone spur in his right elbow. Dr. Jeffrey Angel of Batesville, Ark., performed the procedure, which will keep Bundy out for the rest of the year. He had gone 2-11, 6.25 in 81 innings.
• As of Aug. 4, Norfolk had used 68 different players this season, five more than the previous franchise record of 63 set in 1998 and matched in 2001. The league record is 74 set by Louisville in 2003.