Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Slew of Debut

So of course I happened to be away over a weekend when a player made their Orioles debut in four consecutive games. I had a great time with some friends and still was able to catch bits and pieces of the games, but overall, I didn't pay attention like I normally do, so I'm playing catch-up now.

Steve Tolleson became the 923rd Oriole when he started the second game of Thursday's doubleheader against the Rangers. He went 1-3 at the plate and also started Saturday's game, going 1-4 with a double but  did commit an error at third base.

I picked up Steve's autograph during spring training this year, so he goes straight on the have list. And it's personalized to boot!

Journeyman Dana Eveland will forever be Oriole #924 after he was called up to start Friday's game against the Rays. It was a rather sloppy affair, although he somehow kept the O's in the game. He lasted six innings and allowed three earned runs, walked six, struck out two and also hit two batters.

He came on in relief in last night's game and the results were pretty similar. In just 1.2 innings, he walked two and hit two batters while allowing another earned run. Dana's stay in Baltimore is apt to be short if he continues to have those type of control issues.

I added Dana's autograph to my collection back at Orioles FanFest, so he also goes right to the have list.

Longtime big leaguer, Bill Hall was called up from Norfolk prior to Saturday's game and he started the game in left field to become Oriole #925. He went 1-3 with a late home run that provided some nice padding in a 5-3 win over the Rays.

As you can see, or rather cannot see, I don't currently have an autograph of Bill's, but he has plenty of certified examples out there that can be had cheaply, so I'm not worried about it. I'll try to get him in person and if it doesn't work, I can just drop a few bucks to pick one up online. But for now, his name is added to my need list.

Lastly, for today at least, is Oriole #926, Xavier Avery. "X" made his Orioles, and MLB, debut on Sunday and went 0-4 out of the lead-off spot. He is the only one of these four players who would be considered a prospect, and his name has appeared near the top of Baseball America's Orioles top prospect list in recent years, highlighted by being listed at #3 heading into the 2011 season. He has long been known for his speed and athleticism and is a real burner when he gets on the base-paths. The Orioles selected him in the second round of the 2008 draft.

His speed was clearly visible in last night's game against the Yankees when he again led off, but had better luck at the plate, hitting a first inning double for his first big league hit and followed it up with a fifth inning triple. Pretty solid for just his second MLB game!

Since X has played at nearly every level of the Orioles' farm system, I have multiple copies of his autograph, especially from his time with the Keys and Baysox. And as you can see, his signature doesn't consist of much more than an "X".

I made it back in town in time to catch Avery's debut on Sunday. I believe this picture was taken during his third at-bat.

At this point, I expect Avery to stick with the Orioles and bat lead-off in most of their games, at least until Nolan Reimold is healthy enough to return. As for the other three, only time will tell, but I just hope that the Orioles can continue their winning ways!

No comments: