Baltimore Orioles Wiretap
The Orioles still have faith in outfielder Felix Pie, who has struggled mightily this season.
"It's unfortunate that Felix didn't get off to a better start because our guys still believe that it's in there," Baltimore president Andy MacPhail said. "I know Terry Crowley really feels like he's going to hit, and I think he's a better player now than he was in the beginning."
Pie is hitting .202 with two home runs and five RBI in 94 at-bats this season.
"It's just that there aren't the at-bats for him based on who's playing in front of him," MacPhail added. "But the landscape's always changing in this game. An opportunity probably will present itself over time and he'll probably get another shot at it due to whatever unforeseen circumstance. He's not getting through outrights. I can just tell you that right now. That's not going to happen. He's not going to get through. For us, I just look at our outfield and it's a very positive thing. We've got (Nolan) Reimold, (Luke) Scott, (Adam) Jones, Pie, (Nick) Markakis. They're young, they're talented. It's kind of a good situation."
The Orioles are expected to sign first-round pick Matt Hobgood within the next few weeks.
Hobgood expects to take a physical in Baltimore soon, and will sign with the club by June 27.
"That's the plan. We've pretty much got [the contract] set," said Hobgood. "Nothing is final, but [the Orioles] presented us a deal and we'll work something out. I'll for sure sign on that Saturday."
Hobgood was the fifth overall pick in Tuesday night's First-Year Player Draft.
"We don't have anything finalized yet. We're going to have to get him into town; we never sign any of these kids without a complete physical," Orioles director of amateur scouting Joe Jordan said. "We are getting close, but we have a few things to get settled first.
"I've said from the beginning we thought this would be quicker than the past couple of years. The kid is excited, but we have to get him into Baltimore first."
Matt Wieters is hitting just .143 through his first eight major-league games, but the Orioles aren't worried.
"Those that expected him to hit .600 and hit 1.000, I think that's very commendable but I don't think that was very realistic," manager Dave Trembley said. "I don't see him chasing pitches out of the strike zone. I see he probably has gotten tested very early by seeing pitching that he did not see in Triple-A.
"He's seen guys throw low- to high-90s it seemed like every night he's played. I think he will be just fine."
Orioles president Andy MacPhail isn't afraid of the top-dollar demands that the fifth overall pick could make.
"It's an important avenue of talent for us," MacPhail said. "We pay attention to 'signability.' But at the end of the day, we know this is the most important entry of talent in our system.
"We know we can't buy three [major league] players for a half billion dollars. That's not in the cards for us, so this is an area that we are pretty aggressive."
Baltimore has dished out roughly $20.3 million in signing bonuses to draft-eligible amateurs over the last three years -- the fifth highest in baseball.
Orioles Jun 2009 Archive