Orioles' Waring Tries To Get His Bat Going

BALTIMORE—Two summers ago, corner infielder Brandon Waring was named the Orioles' minor league player of the year. Now, he's fighting to get his average above .200.

The mighty can fall, but they also can rise again. And Waring is doing his best to make it happen.

Waring, 25, homered in four straight games, and five of six, during a recent hot streak with Double-A Bowie. He was batting .189/.262/.389 in 185 at-bats, with eight doubles, nine homers and 26 RBIs.

During a four-game stretch, Waring went 7-for-15 with eight RBIs.

"I made an adjustment at the plate," he said. "I moved my hands down, freed them up a little bit, taking the body out of the equation. It has let me see the ball longer and I'm getting some pitches to hit and I'm not missing them right now."

Something has been missing with Waring since 2009, when he was the high Class A Carolina League's MVP after batting .273/.354/.520 with 35 doubles, 26 homers and 90 RBIs in 473 at-bats. He led the league in RBIs and finished second in homers and doubles.

In 24 at-bats with Bowie in 2009, Waring hit .292/.414/.542 with three doubles, a homer and six RBIs.

The 6-foot-4, 195 pound Waring never made it out of the Eastern League last year, batting .242/.338/.458 with 32 doubles, 22 homers, 70 RBIs and 179 strikeouts in 472 at-bats. He was blocked at third base by Triple-A Norfolk's Josh Bell, and at first base by the Tides' Brandon Snyder.

The same two obstacles remain this season, and he won't move up unless his average climbs.

"He's been a little inconsistent, but he's doing fine," Bowie manager Gary Kendall said of Waring, who the Orioles acquired from the Reds in the Ramon Hernandez deal at the 2008 Winter Meetings. "I think our coaching staff and he expect more, but he's going to be fine if he continues to work hard."

Bird Seed

• Bowie reliever Dan Klein, a third-round pick last year out of UCLA, was shut down and placed on the disabled list with a sore right arm. The initial diagnosis was biceps tendinitis, but the Orioles sent the righthander to renowned orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum after an MRI taken in Baltimore was inconclusive.

• Low Class A Delmarva shortstop Manny Machado, the third overall pick in 2010, was promoted to high Class A Frederick after the South Atlantic League's all-star game. Machado has fully recovered from a dislocated kneecap that forced him on the disabled list.