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Baseball America's Daily Dish
Complete Daily Dish Archive

Compiled by Kevin Goldstein, Chris Kline and Matt Meyers
August 30, 2005

Outfielder Nolan Reimold and lefthander Garrett Olson would have been happy finishing out the year at short-season Aberdeen this year after being two of the Orioles' top draft picks in June.

Neither expected to be bumped up; and if they did, both targeted low Class A Delmarva as the next stop before season's end. So needless to say, it came as a surprise when both top picks were promoted to high Class A Frederick to help the Keys lock down the Carolina League's Northern Division down the stretch.

"I was a little bit surprised when they told me I was going to Frederick," Reimold said. "(IronBirds manager) Andy (Etchebarren) called me in, told me I was going and my reaction--after three minutes--was 'Really? Are you serious?' But I was glad to hear that. I knew I could play with the guys up here and I've been doing all right so far."

Doing all right might be an understatement. Reimold became an instant middle-of-the-order threat on a club that had just lost its primary force when outfielder Nick Markakis was promoted to Double-A. Four of Reimold’s first eight hits for the Keys were homers. While he's leveled off since then, the second-round pick out of Bowling Green State still provides the big bat in Frederick's lineup.

"He's the youngster," manager Bien Figeuroa said. "He came in here and had an immediate impact. He's going to see a lot more offspeed pitches in this league than he did in the New York-Penn (League), so he's going to have to make some adjustments. He can tend to get a little long in his swing, trying to pull a lot of balls, so we're working on him using the whole field and taking advantage of his long arms.

"Nobody's going to replace Markakis--on this team, or in this league. But Nolan gave us a lift and hopefully that will carry through the playoffs."

Reimold has had a much more dramatic impact on the Keys than Olson, who was a supplemental round pick (48th overall) out of Cal Poly. Olson racked up 136 innings as the ace of the Mustangs staff, with 12-4, 2.71 numbers.

He pitched another 40 innings at Aberdeen, going 2-1, 1.58, and has started two more times for Frederick for a grand total of 185 innings of work since his first start for Cal Poly on Jan. 22. But instead of playing a starting role, Olson will be relegated to the bullpen as the Keys' staff goes to a three-man rotation for the playoff run. He has been on a 70-80 pitch count since turning pro.

Still, those 185 innings are likely to take a toll--though Olson insists he feels like he could pitch well into September.

"My arm feels great," Olson said. "I can attribute that to the work routine I had in college and I carried that over after I signed. I think if you stick with your routine and keep on top of things, you eliminate any possible injuries. In college, you're only going once a week, so I had plenty of rest and I can bounce back pretty easily."

--CHRIS KLINE

DISH PIECES

• On the promotion tip, Cubs shortstop Eric Patterson was called up to Double-A West Tenn; Brewers ultra utilityman Vinny Rottino went to Triple-A Nashville (where he played third base, left field and catcher in his first four games); Padres outfielder Kennard Jones moved to Triple-A Portland; and Athletics 2004 31st-round pick righthander Conor Robertson got called up to Triple-A Sacramento after starting the year in the Midwest League.

• Angels shortstop Brandon Wood's quest for 100 extra base hits took another step forward, as the 2003 first-round pick smacked his 51st double and 42nd home run of the season in high Class A Rancho Cucamonga's 8-4 win over Lancaster. He has 97 extra-base hits on the season; the Quakes have seven more regular season games on the schedule.

• Dodgers third baseman Blake Dewitt hit his first Florida State League home run on Monday as part of a 3-for-5 night as high Class A Vero Beach dropped a 3-2 decision to Brevard County. A 2004 first-round pick out of Sikeston (Mo.) High, Dewitt is 4-for-10 is three games for the Dodgers after batting .283-11-65 in 120 games for low Class A Columbus, including a .325 mark in his last 20 games.

• A 23-year-old senior sign hitting in the Midwest League is not a huge story, but Cardinals outfielder Nick Stavinoha is nonetheless putting together a big pro debut at Quad Cities. A seventh-round pick out of Louisiana State, Stavinoha was 3-for-5 with his 13th home run in Monday night's 13-8 win over Cedar Rapids and has at least one run and one hit in each of his last 11 games, to go with season averages of .350/.406/.575 in 226 at-bats.

• Twins righthander Kevin Slowey suffered his first pro loss last night, but it certainly wasn’t his fault. The second-round pick out of Winthrop allowed just two runs on three hits over eight innings, striking out nine in low Class A Beloit's 2-1 loss to Peoria. In 12 games for the Snappers, Slowey is 3-1, 2.34, with a nifty 62-6 strikeout-walk ratio in 57 2/3 innings.

• Orioles first-round pick Brandon Snyder had a strong New York-Penn League debut, going 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs in short-season Aberdeen's 10-6 loss to Staten Island. The 13th overall pick in the draft, Snyder began his pro career with Bluefield in the Appy League, where he hit .271/.380/.493 in 144 at-bats.

• You know it is a good week when your batting average rises 34 points. The Angels Alberto Callaspo went 5-for-5 Monday to complete a seven-day stretch in which he went 17-for-34 for Triple-A Salt Lake. The 22-year-old second baseman is now hitting .302/.330/.407 for the Stingers in 182 at-bats after a promotion from Double-A Arkansas, where he hit .297/.346/.409 in 350 at-bats.

• J.A. Happ has missed numerous starts this season with arm soreness and for a torn oblique muscle, but when he has pitched, he has been very effective. That continued last night as the 22-year-old lefthander shut down Hagerstown for low Class A Lakewood although he got a no-decision. The Phillies' southpaw went seven innings and allowed only a run on five hits while fanning six. On the season, the Northwestern product is 4-4, 2.36 in 72 innings with a 72-20 strikeout-walk ratio.

• He is old for the Rookie-level Appalachian League, but Eli Iorg had a remarkable night Monday for Greeneville and is finishing the season in style. A supplemental first-rounder of the Astros in June, the 22-year-old was 3-for-5 with two homers, a triple and seven RBIs. The outfielder is now 10-for-19 in his last four games and is hitting .328/.388/.567 in 134 at-bats.

• Kenny Holmberg is quietly chasing the triple crown in the Rookie-level Pioneer League. The Brewers second baseman, who was drafted in the 22nd round in June out of Embry-Riddle (Fla.) University, went 4-for-5 with a homer and six RBIs in Helena's 10-1 win against Missoula. Holmberg ranks second in the PL with a .374 batting average, just four points behind another second baseman drafted out of college in 2005, Casper's Corey Wimberly, who already won the Division I batting title at Alcorn State this spring. Holmberg is tied for third in the league with 48 RBIs, three behind Russell Mitchell of Ogden. Holmberg's stiffest competition might be in the home run category, where he is locked in a four-way tie for second place with 11. Three players (including Mitchell) are tied for the league lead with 12 homers.

• In that same Helena win, righthander Will Inman, a third-rounder this year out of Tunstall High in Dry Fork, Va., tossed six shutout innings, striking out eight and walking none to improve to 6-0, 1.67 in 43 Pioneer League innings.

• Rockies righthander Shane Lindsay piled up 10 more strikeouts Monday night in 5-2 Tri-City win against Boise. Lindsay, a 20-year-old Australian, allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and one walk over eight innings to improve to 6-1, 1.89 in the short-season Northwest League. He has 107 strikeouts in 67 innings and has rung up at least five batters in every start--including one that lasted just two innings. "He's by far most dominant pitcher in the league," Boise manager Trey Forkerway said. Added Vancouver manager Juan Navarette, "He's got the whole package: he's strong, has command, a good fastball (at 92-95 mph), a breaking ball and changeup. He's sharp when he's in the zone commanding all those pitches."

• Giants righthander Tom Gornati doesn't have much left to prove in his second season in the Rookie-level Arizona League. A 44th-round pick out of Pittsburgh in 2004, Gornati went 4-2, 4.01 in the AZL a year ago, but he has yet to allow more than one earned run in any of his 11 appearances this season. Gornati allowed just a run on four hits while striking out seven and walking none in six innings against the AZL Mariners, improving his season line to 6-0, 1.30 with a 44-8 strikeout-walk ratio in 42 innings.

• Fourth-round pick Joseph Dickerson was drafted for his speed and has shown it in the Rookie-level Arizona League, hitting a league-high nine triples. But Dickerson's also hit for more power than expected in his pro debut, as the 18-year-old took over the AZL RBIs lead with Nos. 39 and 40 in a 4-2 victory Monday against the Mariners. Dickerson, who was a Texas recruit but signed for $250,000, is hitting .294/.371/.491 overall while playing center field.

Contributing: Will Kimmey, John Manuel.

 
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