Morris Hoosier Bats Farm Bridges The Arc Strack and Van Til


Sunday, July 7, 2013 • POSTED BY:  George Castle Times Correspondent

Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter is renowned for a steel-trap mind that grasps every detail of every player in his organization.

That's why lefties Andy Loomis of Bishop Noll and Trent Howard of Clark have to be on their toes in the minors. The boss up top is monitoring their upward progress.

"He's a consideration. They like a lot of things about him," Showalter said of the prospects of a late-season callup for Loomis, who has a 2.13 and a fine 1.13 WHIP (walks and hits to innings pitched) in short relief at Triple-A Norfolk.

"They figure it out as they get a little later in their career," Showalter said of Whiting native Loomis. "I would never sell guys like him short."

Showalter, who has also managed the Yankees and Diamondbacks, said Loomis need not feel like he's stereotyped as a specialist against lefty hitters only.

"I don't think they look at him like that," he said. "That's initially the attractiveness of him. But I think he can defend himself against right-handed hitters, too.

"Getting one left-handed hitter (a game) out in the big leagues is better than getting left-right-left-right out in Norfolk. I'm sure he'll agree with that. As long as he keeps pitching well, he'll present himself as an option."

Hammond's Howard, the Orioles' seventh-round draft pick in 2011, has a longer way to go at Class-A Frederick. But he's acquitting himself well with a 3-0 record, 2.22 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP in 18 games, including six starts.

And a couple of mph of extra velocity.

"He threw 92 (mph) the other night," Showalter said. "How much better do you want him to be? Trent's athletic. He'll spin the ball for strikes, he's developing a changeup.

"He's starting to grow into his body a little bit. He hadn't quite gotten as strong as he's going to get. But we like him. He's right where he needs to be. I've heard good things about him."

Feldman thankful for Shark's support: Valparaiso's Jeff Samardzija expressed dissent when his Cubs bosses Tuesday began the pre-planned breakup of a surprisingly good starting rotation to snare younger talent and international bonus money slots.

Samardzija did not like the trade of right-hander Scott Feldman, whom he called a "good dude."

"He's just being honest," said Feldman, now in the Orioles' rotation. "We enjoy playing together. He's one of my favorite teammates that I've played with.

"The pitching staff there, we were all buddies and got along well. From his standpoint and probably all the pitchers' standpoint, we felt like we were pretty well set in the rotation. We would have liked to stay together. We had a good experience together.

"I definitely appreciate him saying good things about me. He's one of the best competitors I've played with."

The list: Lees South and North – White Sox, Carlos Lee, Thornton Lee, Lee "Bee Bee" Richard, Lee Stange, Lee Ross, Lee Stine and Lee Tannehill; Cubs, Derrek Lee, Big Bill Lee, Thomas Lee, Don Lee, Lee Arthur Smith, Lee Thomas and Lee Walls.