Cal Ripken, Sandinistas, and the Rule 5 Draft
Some housekeeping items from Birdland today:
The O's added outfielder Nolan Reimold, and pitchers Brad Bergesen, David Hernandez, Chorye Spoone and Wilfrido Perez to the 40-man roster. The move protects them from the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. The choices were of no surprise:
- Bergesen went 16-7 with a 3.10 ERA between Class A Frederick and Class AA Bowie. But his fastball barely tops the speed limit. ... In a school zone. Thus, some scouts have doubts. Still, it's worth the time for the Orioles to see if Bergesen, 23, can do the job without the hard stuff.
- Hernandez fell to the 16h round in the 2005, because of concerns he might attend the University of Oklahoma. This season, the 23-year-old Hernandez rewarded the Orioles for taking a chance, leading the Eastern League with 166 strikeouts.
- Reimold is the Orioles' top power-hitting prospect not named Matt Wieters. Disappointed by injuries and his spring training snub last season, Reimold hit 25 homers for Class AA Bowie. Reimold, 25, will be in Fort Lauderdale this time around.
- Perez, a left-hander signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2003, posted a 2.71 ERA in 42 appearances between Class A Frederick and Class AA Bowie. The 24-year-old Perez struck out 92 hitters in 79 2/3 innings.
- Spoone, 23, went 3-3 with a 4.57 ERA at Bowie before minor shoulder surgery ended his season.
Also, the Orioles signed Jose Reyes (the catcher, not the shortstop) to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. Reyes (the minor leaguer, not the Met) hasn't played in the bigs since his Starbucks stop with the Cubs in '06. He spent last year recovering from elbow surgery.
Finally, in other Orioles news, Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. is suspending his clinics for Nicaraguan youth because the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning for the country.
The U.S. Embassy says Ripken and former teammate Dennis Martinez suspended this week's clinics in Leon after the leftist Sandinista party supporters clashed Sunday with opposition supporters over the Nov. 9 municipal elections. Two people were shot.
Ripken is an American Public Diplomacy Envoy for the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
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