Notebook: With three picks Monday, Orioles preparing for first night of draft

CLEVELAND — It will be a day off for the major league club, but the Orioles will be busy on Monday because the organization will have three picks in the first 75 selections of the first-year player draft.

The Orioles hold four selections in the first 102 picks a year after they lost their first two selections for signing qualifying offer free-agents Nelson Cruz and Ubaldo Jimenez.


"It's really exciting for us because we really have the opportunity to make an impact on the organization this year," Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich said.

The Orioles have the 25th overall pick and also have the 36th overall pick as compensation for losing Cruz, to whom they tendered a qualifying offer before he signed a four-year deal with the Seattle Mariners. The Orioles' second-round pick (68th overall) will also be made on Monday evening.


"It's like Christmas," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We've got some really good people running that thing, so I'm looking forward to adding some pieces."

The Orioles had the competitive-balance pick following the second round (74th overall) that was traded to the Dodgers in the Ryan Webb trade.

Rajsich said this year's draft appears slightly more unpredictable than past years. The Orioles won't look to load up at a certain position, but will seek the best players available.

"There will be some surprises before us, there will be some surprises after us and who knows, we might surprise some people," Rajsich said.

This year's draft class is high on high school talent, and elite college players will likely go early, Rajsich said. The shortstop talent pool is high, but there's not much catching.

Before last season, the Orioles have used their first-round pick on a pitcher in four of the past five years, most recently drafting right-hander Hunter Harvey out of Bandys High School in Catawba, N.C. Before that, they took right-hander Kevin Gausman (LSU) with the fourth overall pick in 2012 and selected right-hander Dylan Bundy (Owasso (Okla.) High School) in 2011 with the fourth overall pick.

Schoop progresses

Second baseman Jonathan Schoop (right knee injury) is getting his share of at-bats in extended spring training games in Sarasota, Fla., and while Showalter has been reluctant to give a timetable on his return, he said he's not far from a minor league rehab assignment.

Orioles vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson is in Sarasota working with the team's injured players, including Schoop.

"He's got plenty of at-bats," Showalter said. "If you watched him run straight ahead, there's nothing you'd really [notice]. Brady is timing everything. It's kind of a little tentativeness when he takes a turn, maybe the pivot. That's the last thing that's going to come, getting over that part of it."

"Brady is supposed to be back Tuesday. He may stay there with him if he thinks he's getting closer. I told to just stay there."

Schoop went on the disabled list on April 18 with a Grade 1 partial PCL tear and a MCL sprain in his right knee after landing wrong on first base. At that point, the club expected a recovery time of six to eight weeks.


Showalter passes Selee

Sunday's win was Showalter's 1,285th as a manager, passing Hall of Famer Frank Selee for sole possession of 34th place on the all-time managerial wins list.

Showalter has 403 wins as Orioles manager, four shy of Hank Bauer (407) for third place in franchise history. Earl Weaver is first with 1,480 wins and Paul Richards (517) is second.

Around the horn

Right-hander Bud Norris is 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three career starts against Cleveland. … Showalter said the reports on right-hander Kevin Gausman's first minor-league rehab outing on Friday were positive. Gausman threw four scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out four. He threw 40 pitches, 32 of them strikes. He is expected to pitch four or five innings Thursday at Bowie. He could be an option to return to the big league club as a starter after that, start but more likely after a third start. … To make 25-man roster space to activate Norris, the Orioles optioned infielder Rey Navarro to Triple-A Norfolk. Navarro was recalled on Friday when the club designated infielder Everth Cabrera for assignment. Since Navarro was already on the 40-man roster, it allowed the club to add Matt Wieters and Cesar Cabral to the 40-man. … There was a scoring change on the final play of Saturday's 2-1 Orioles loss. Instead of being scored a double play — Matt Wieters struck out and Chris Davis was thrown out attempting to advance to second — it is being scored as two separate plays since the pitch Wieters struck out on was in the dirt and misplayed.

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