Rodriguez headlines O's prospects going to AFL

Rodriguez headlines O's prospects going to AFL

Rodriguez headlines O's prospects going to AFL

BOSTON -- The Arizona Fall League rosters were announced Tuesday afternoon, and the Orioles will send pitching prospects Eduardo Rodriguez, Branden Kline, Jason Gurka and Tim Berry, along with catcher Michael Ohlman, infielder Jonathan Schoop and outfielders Dariel Alvarez and Henry Urrutia.

All are on the Surprise Saguaros, which will be managed by Double-A Bowie's Gary Kendall. Alan Mills, short-season Aberdeen's pitching coach, will serve the same role for the Saguaros.

Asked if those selected for the AFL wouldn't be considerations for September callups, manager Buck Showalter said not necessarily. Schoop and Urrutia, who batted .269 in 21 games with Baltimore earlier this month, are both strong candidates to join the big league club when rosters can expand Sunday.

"All the guys we sent there, I'm looking forward to going out there and watching them play," Showalter said of the AFL season, which begins in October. "That's all guys that have a chance to impact us. I really like the group we are sending out there. ... It's a good group, a really good group. If you compare it to years in the past what we've sent out there, you can see why I feel that way."

Schoop, the organization's top position player prospect, is batting .253 with eight homers and 31 RBIs in 62 games with Triple-A Norfolk. He missed about two months of the season with a stress fracture in his lower back. The 20-year-old Rodriguez is 9-7 with a 3.56 ERA over 24 starts between Class A Frederick and Double-A Bowie. The lefty is 3-3 with a 4.70 ERA for Bowie and is coming off an impressive eight scoreless innings on Monday night.

Urrutia is batting .361 with nine homers and 49 RBIs at Norfolk, and he hit .269 in 21 games with the Orioles. Alvarez, 24, was recently promoted to Bowie after hitting .436 in 10 games for Frederick.

Berry, a lefty, is 9-7 with a 3.91 ERA in 25 starts at Frederick. A left-handed reliever, Gurka is 2-2 with a 2.95 ERA over 39 2/3 innings for Bowie. Kline has been sidelined since May after undergoing surgery on his right ankle, and he went 1-2 with a 5.86 ERA in seven starts for Class A Delmarva prior to the injury.

Ohlman is hitting .308 with 13 homers and 50 RBIs through 93 games with Frederick.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.