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Bundy, Gausman top Orioles' prospect list

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Bundy, Gausman top Orioles' prospect list

A year ago, the Orioles farm system was not considered particularly strong. That’s not the case today.

After a 24-game improvement and the rapid ascension of Manny Machado, Baseball America still believes the minor leagues isn’t terribly deep. However, the publication lauds Dan Duquette for making enough moves that prospects don’t have to be rushed.

Baseball America’s top two prospects aren’t a surprise. Right-handed pitchers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman lead the way. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who’s also been playing shortstop at Bowie is third.

Nicky Delmonico, who won the Most Valuable Player Award in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game is fourth. Delmonico, who spent the season at Delmarva, can play first and second.

In fifth place is left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, who is unknown to many fans. The 19-year-old Venezuelan was 5-7 with a 3.70 ERA for Delmarva.

Outfielders L.J. Hoes and Xavier Avery, who’ve both already played for the Orioles are sixth and seventh.

Mike Wright, who was the third round pick in 2011, is eighth. The right-hander was 10-5 with a 4.06 ERA at Frederick and Bowie.

In ninth was Branden Kline, the Orioles’ second-round pick last June from the University of Maryland and Frederick, Md. The right-hander had four brief starts for Aberdeen.

Eighteen-year old shortstop Adrian Marin, the team’s third-round pick, was the 10th highest rated prospect. He quickly signed and batted .287 for Gulf Coast. He also played six games for Aberdeen.

Last year’s top prospects were Bundy, Machado, Schoop, right-hander Parker Bridwell, Hoes, infielder Jason Esposito, Ryan Flaherty, Delmonico, Avery and pitcher Dan Klein.

Bridwell was 5-9 with a 5.98 ERA at Delmarva,  Esposito, a second-round pick in 2011, batted just .209 with the Shorebirds and Klein missed the season after shoulder surgery. Flaherty spent most of the season with the Orioles.

NOTE:

-Bill Hall, who had three brief stints with the Orioles, joined Endy Chavez, Dana Eveland, Nick Johnson, Nate McLouth, Ronny Paulino, Joe Saunders, Jim Thome and Randy Wolf in filing for free agency. The Orioles aren’t expected to pursue Hall.

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2018 MLB All-Star Game Voting Results: Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes

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USA TODAY Sports

2018 MLB All-Star Game Voting Results: Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes

The Orioles' Manny Machado is the early leader among American League shortstops in the first results of All-Star voting released by Major League Baseball Tuesday.

Machado holds a lead of 110,131 votes over the Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor. 

No other Orioles' player is on the list, and Adam Jones isn't listed among the top-15 of outfielders. 

The Astros' Carlos Correa was last year’s starting shortstop for the American League, but is in fourth place with 206,707 votes, trailing the Yankees' Didi Gregorius who has 208,583.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 19.

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Zach Britton rejoins Orioles after stint on disabled list

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Zach Britton rejoins Orioles after stint on disabled list

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Orioles left-hander Zach Britton has been activated from the disabled list, six months after undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Assuming he's finally healthy enough to resume his role as one of the best closers in the big leagues, the question now is: How long will Britton be with the Orioles?

Britton's contract expires after this season, and Baltimore entered play Monday with the worst record in the major leagues (19-45).

So, as he stood in front of his locker and spoke excitedly about his return to the Orioles, Britton conceded that his stay in Baltimore may not extend beyond the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

"I want to pitch well and help the team, regardless of our standing or trade discussions," he said.

Asked if the next few weeks might serve as an audition for other teams, Britton replied, "I guess so, but I'm not going to think of it like that."

Britton made the 2016 AL All-Star team during a season in which he converted all 47 of his save opportunities and compiled a 0.54 ERA in 69 appearances.

He fought forearm and knee injuries last season and had only 15 saves. Then, during the winter, he tore his right Achilles tendon during a workout.

"When I injured myself in December, I was just looking forward to walking again and running again and then to be able to pitch back in the big leagues," Britton said. "There were a lot of hurdles that I overcame."

Surgery and an intense rehab program under Orioles trainer Brian Ebel enabled the 30-year-old to return sooner than many anticipated.

"The thought that he's a pitcher for us on June 11, that's remarkable," manager Buck Showalter said. "He's checked every box to get ready. I don't know what else you could possibly do."

Although Britton will be pitching for a team that's struggled mightily this season, that won't influence the intensity he will bring to the mound.

"I had some injuries the last few years, so I'm looking forward to turning the page on that and just getting back to pitching well," he said. "Everyone in this clubhouse wants to do well at this level, and that's my focus."

To adjust the roster for Britton's return, the Orioles placed right-hander Pedro Araujo on the 10-day disabled list with a right elbow strain and moved outfielder Colby Rasmus to the 60-day DL.