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Jomar Reyes' approach a pleasant surprise in Delmarva, manager says

As counter-intuitive as it sounds, the goal for a player like Class-A Delmarva third baseman Jomar Reyes isn’t to go up looking to hit home runs.

He can, of course — Reyes might have the most raw power in the Orioles’ system despite having turned 18 in February. But as Reyes makes his full-season debut for the Shorebirds, manager Ryan Minor said he’s been pleased with the hulking third baseman’s plate approach, which doesn't involve swinging for the fences.

“At the plate, he shows [his power] in [batting practice], and it’s starting to translate a little bit into the game, when the game speeds up a little bit,” Minor said Tuesday, when the Shorebirds were in Hagerstown to face the Suns. “We’ve been pleasantly surprised at the way he took his approach from spring training and changed a few things to the game up here. Once the season started, even in the cold weather and being in a new place—he’s never been out of Florida before, playing under the lights—he’s done a good job making that...

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After slow start, third baseman Drew Dosch pacing Frederick lineup

Third baseman Drew Dosch’s consistent 2014 took a back seat to some of the other hitters at Delmarva, but after a slow start for High-A Frederick this year, the 2013 seventh-round pick is among the best performing regulars for the Keys, who are tied atop their division at 8-6.

Dosch began the season 4-for-32 before doubling his hit total in a single game April 17 against Wilmington, and he’s raised his line to .275/.356/.451 with as many RBIs as he has hits (14).

The slow start was only noticeable in that it happened early in the season — Dosch’s .314/.379/.404 line a year ago in Delmarva showed he could be a consistent producer at his level. And he did that with his high-round pedigree somewhat masked because of a knee injury right before the June 2013 draft that caused him to slide a few rounds.

That the Orioles took a chance on him right after he tore his knee up meant a lot to Dosch, and he’s done nothing but produce since then.

In a Frederick lineup that might have to piece together...

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Former Maryland star A.J. Francis wants to be an Uber driver

Former Maryland defensive lineman A.J. Francis earned three stars from most recruiting services coming out of Washington, D.C.’s Gonzaga High.

Perhaps in an effort to rectify that, Francis is applying to be an Uber driver — a side gig outside his current NFL job that, with a little extra effort, can get him a five-star rating after all.

Francis tweeted last night that he had applied to become an Uber driver, and after being questioned why by some followers, he responded pretty intelligently.

“People ask me why would you want to be an Uber driver if you play in the NFL. … You know what’s better than NFL money? More money.”

Well said.

Francis spent the 2014 season on injured reserve for the Miami Dolphins, after stints with the New England Patriots and Dolphins a year earlier.

Given his social media presence and the following he had in Maryland, it makes sense that he’s pursuing a gig that requires people skills. As far as fallback options go, it  might not be the most lucrative, but he’s...

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With two more road games, Ravens' trend of traveling for Monday Night Football continues

With four trips out West and matchups with the AFC and NFC West, the Ravens schedule was always going to create logistical headaches for the team and provide plenty of tough games in the process.

But the NFL schedule, released Tuesday night, continues a difficult scheduling trend for the Ravens, a team that has played on the road on Monday Night Football more often than any other team in the league over the last 10 years.

Eighteen NFL teams have played 10 or more Monday Night Football games over the last 10 seasons, including the Ravens. The Ravens and New York Giants are tied for the fewest home games, with three apiece in that span, though the Giants have played one fewer on the road.

Over that span, the Ravens have a league-high 12 road games on Mondays. The Giants have 11, while the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears have 10. Of their past 10 Monday night games, the Ravens’ past eight have been on the road. That, too, is the most among teams that have been on Monday Night most often.

...

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Observations from Double-A Bowie's first weekend at home

With a Tuesday morning matinee wrapping up a six-game homestand for the Orioles' Double-A affiliate in Bowie, here are some quick-hit notes on some of their top performers and most intriguing prospects.

- When the Orioles have to add a left-handed reliever — they have only Brian Matusz and closer Zach Britton on the 25-man roster — I think Tim Berry is a legitimate option. In his second season in Double-A, following up a 6-7 campaign with a 3.51 ERA, Berry has allowed 12 earned runs in 13 2/3 innings to start the year.

But on Sunday, Berry showed good command of an 89-92 mph fastball and threw his changeup for four swinging strikes in a five-inning outing, including all three of his strikeouts. When the pitch doesn’t catch the middle of the plate, it’s a legitimate major-league out pitch, and could play in the bullpen if the Orioles go that route.

- Right-hander Parker Bridwell walked a tight rope in his second start of the year on April 16. He struck out seven, primarily using his changeup...

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Joe Flacco the lone Raven in NFLPA jersey sales rankings

Only one Ravens player made the NFL Players Association's top 50 list for jersey sales for the past fiscal year.

Quarterback Joe Flacco was 36th on the list, released Tuesday by the union, and ranked behind 14 other quarterbacks in the sales rankings.

In last year's list, which accounted for the 2013 season, Flacco was ranked 35th, and former running back Ray Rice was ranked 28th.

That Flacco was the lone Raven actually makes sense, though. Given the plethora of stars on both sides of the ball, plus fans' penchant for owning multiple jerseys, it seems that no Ravens player can get the bump that a city's lone star can. 

This end result is somewhat bizarre, given that Dick's Sporting Goods' own metrics had Flacco as the eighth-highest jersey seller in the NFL for the 2014 season, and ranked fifth among quarterbacks. It appears many of the new Flacco jerseys are coming from there.

Perhaps the highlight of the list was Cincinnati Bengal Devon Still, for whom proceeds of his jersey sales were...

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