The Triple-A Norfolk Tides were rained out last night, so the notes below are the same that I posted yesterday about them.
The Double-A Bowie Baysox and Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds look to build on last night's victories, while the Single-A Frederick Keys hope to rebound from yesterday's loss.
Norfolk: Chris Waters (8-6, 4.65 ERA in minors; 3-5, 5.01 ERA with Orioles)
Durham: David Price (12-1, 2.30 ERA in minors; 0-0, 1.93 ERA with Tampa Bay Rays)
* This is the first 2009 matchup that everyone is waiting for -- Price against Orioles top prospect Matt Wieters. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound left-hander rapidly climbed through the Rays' minor league system in 2008. He made stops in Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A before finishing the season with the Rays. Price collected 109 strikeouts and walked 32 hitters in 109 2/3 innings in the minor leagues. Wieters struggled in the season opener Thursday, going 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. These two players could meet for several years in the majors, so it will be interesting to see what happens tonight in Durham, N.C.
* Waters was 1-1 with a 6.48 ERA in three starts against Durham in 2008. The 28-year-old left-hander had 13 strikeouts and walked seven hitters in 16 2/3 innings against the Bulls. He was 5-0 with a 1.69 ERA at Bowie before being promoted to Norfolk in the middle of last season.
* This is an interesting tidbit from the Tides' game preview -- none of Norfolk's position players and only two pitchers (Waters and Alberto Castillo) are left-handed throwers. It really doesn't have a lot to do with the game, but I thought it was one of those quirky facts that was worth sharing.Bowie Baysox (AA)
Bowie: Brandon Erbe (10-12, 4.30 ERA with the Keys in 2008)
Akron: Steven Wright (6-7, 3.66 ERA with the Aeros and Single-A Kinston Indians in 2008)
* As a member of the Keys last season, Erbe led the Carolina League in strikeouts (151) and finished second in innings (150 2/3). The 21-year-old right-hander, however, also led the league with 21 home runs allowed in 2008. Erbe needs to reduce that number this season, in my opinion, in order to remain on the path to the major leagues with the Orioles.
* Wright split the 2008 season between Akron and Single-A Kinston. The 24-year-old right-hander was 2-4 with a 2.99 ERA in 14 starts with Kinston, and he compiled a 4-3 record with a 4.30 ERA in 14 starts with the Aeros. Wright allowed 20 home runs between the two levels in 2008. Today's matchup (1:35 p.m.) could see a lot of home runs being hit out of Canal Park in Akron.
Salem Red Sox
Frederick: Zach Britton (12-7, 3.12 ERA with the Shorebirds in 2008)
Salem: Jose Capellan (3-6, 4.65 ERA with Single-A Greenville Drive in 2008)
* Britton moves up to Frederick after pitching well for Delmarva in 2008. The 21-year-old left-hander was 12-7 with a 3.12 ERA in 27 starts for the Shorebirds. He collected 114 strikeouts and walked 49 hitters in 147 1/3 innings at Delmarva. It's going to be interesting to see how Britton pitches with the Keys in 2009.
* Capellan was 3-6 with a 4.65 ERA in 15 starts for Greenville last season. The 22-year-old left-hander struck out 54 hitters and issued 15 walks in 69 2/3 innings with the Drive.
Delmarva: Ryan O'Shea (2-1, 3.00 ERA with the Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds in 2008)
Lakewood: Robert Roth (7-2, 3.39 ERA with the Single-A Williamsport Crosscutters in 2008)
* O'Shea made 16 relief appearances for the IronBirds in 2008, but the Orioles have shifted the 22-year-old right-hander into the starting rotation at Delmarva this season. O'Shea was 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA with Aberdeen last year, and he struck out 31 hitters in 33 innings.
* Roth pitched in the New York-Penn League during the 2008 season. The 20-year-old right-hander was 7-2 with a 3.39 ERA in 10 starts for the Crosscutters. He allowed 47 hits and walked 21 batters in 58 1/3 innings.