Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Orioles #921 & 922

Two players have made their Baltimore (and MLB) debuts in recent days.

Catcher Luis Exposito, who the Orioles selected off of waivers from the Red Sox in mid-April, made his debut in the 12th inning of Friday night's game against, coincidentally, the Red Sox. He became the 921st player to appear in a game for the Orioles, and I am currently in need of his autograph.

He has a few certified minor league autographs that I can pick up if needed, but I will try to get his signature in person first. It's too bad he is only featured on Red Sox cards thus far in his career but an autograph would still help out my collection.

Interestingly, Luis is now the team's back-up catcher since Ronny Paulino has been sent down to AAA Norfolk. Considering that Luis has only been in the organization for three weeks, you can tell that the brass must think highly of him to make him the official back-up catcher so quickly.

Next up is Oriole #922, Stu Pomeranz, who made his debut last night against the Rangers. He was the only one of the three Orioles pitchers in the game who was able to hold his own against the potent Texas lineup, which really says something about him considering it was his first appearance in the big leagues. He pitched three scoreless innings and allowed three hits, one walk, and struck out two. And Gary Thorne called him "a tall drink of water" on the MASN broadcast. I guess he is 6'7" but I might have said something else.

Stu signed these cards for me during Spring Training this season. He inked a minor league deal with the Orioles this past offseason but spent a majority of the spring in the big league camp. You could kind of tell that Buck liked him, but he was still kind of one of those autographs I got and expected never to see the guy in Baltimore. Stu was the only player that I saw coming and going from the Orioles complex without being hounded for autographs since no one really knew who he was, but I was lucky enough to get him inside the stadium when he had the uniform number that helped to ID him. 

Stu is 27 years old, so is not a typical rookie, but he battled injuries and alcoholism on his road to the majors. He seems like an easy guy to root for, and rose from AA Bowie all the way to Baltimore in about a month.

Some of you might recognize his last name because of his younger brother Drew, who has been a top prospect for the Indians, then Rockies for the past few years. Drew just made his MLB debut late last year, so it's a good time to be a Pomeranz.

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