Stowers tours 'beautiful' Camden Yards 

July 18th, 2019
“It makes me want to work harder so I can get here one day,” Kyle Stowers said of Camden Yards. (Baltimore Orioles)

BALTIMORE -- The bleached blond hair stuck out from his cap, standing out against the brick backdrop of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles hope to see it in black and orange a whole lot more going forward.

The locks belong to Kyle Stowers, the Orioles' Competitive Balance Round B selection (No. 71 overall) in the 2019 MLB Draft out of Stanford, a Southern California kid with a good chance to end up in Baltimore. Touring Camden Yards on Tuesday, Stowers became the latest of the organization’s new building blocks to get a glimpse of the field he hopes to call home.

“It’s a beautiful ballpark,” Stowers said. “It makes me want to work harder so I can get here one day.”

A left-handed-hitting outfielder, Stowers is off to a fast start at Class A Short Season Aberdeen, hitting .296 with an .811 OPS over his first 16 professional games. There, he’s joined by two former Cardinal teammates in the Orioles' sixth-round Draft pick, catcher Maverick Handley, and 11th-round pick, first baseman Andrew Daschbach, all of whom are beginning their pro careers in the New York-Penn League.

“It’s special,” Stowers said. “It’s been a lot of fun to go through this journey with them. Just knowing them really well, I’m very lucky to have them with me.”

The Orioles' preference, though, would be for Stowers to outpace as many of his Draft mates as quickly as possible. A 6-foot-3, 200-pound outfielder, Stowers, 21, is considered a potential impact bat with enough athleticism to play all three outfield positions, despite slumping slightly during his junior season at Stanford.

Stowers burst onto the scouting scene with a huge Cape Cod League performance in 2018, excelling with wood bats on the country’s most competitive collegiate summer circuit. He now joins Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson in providing a jolt to an Orioles farm system thin on impact position players.

“I think to be a part of something rebuilding, or just have that chance to chase that dream, or chase the opportunity of helping a team win, you can’t beat that,” Stowers said.

From the trainer's room
Right-hander Dylan Bundy threw a bullpen session Wednesday for the first time since landing on the injured list on Saturday, this after receiving a cortisone shot meant to quell the bout of tendinitis in his right knee. The Orioles remain hopeful Bundy can return from the IL when eligible on Tuesday.

If so, the O's new-look rotation should remain more or less intact until then. The club announced that Tom Eshelman and Asher Wojciechowski will remain in the fold to start Saturday and Sunday, respectively, with John Means making his regular turn on Friday. That would appear to line up Aaron Brooks for another start Monday. Brooks got the starting nod for Wednesday’s game against the Nationals, his second appearance since joining Baltimore on a waiver claim on July 6.

• Sidelined since April, right-hander Nate Karns was back on the rehab trail Wednesday, throwing two innings at Double-A Bowie. Karns is on his fourth rehab attempt since landing on the IL on April 9 with right forearm tightness.

• Nearly a month after his comeback from right knee surgery was halted for a second time, Mark Trumbo resumed baseball activities with daily sessions of on-field batting practice this week. There are no immediate plans for Trumbo to begin another rehab assignment, but the Orioles remain hopeful he can return at some point this season. A two-time All-Star, Trumbo, 33, hasn’t played since undergoing surgery to repair a chondral defect in his right knee this past September.

Prospect rising
The Orioles’ consistent roster juggling hasn’t been limited to their big league club; the organization as a whole has seen significant movement in recent weeks, and it figures to continue with the Trade Deadline looming. For now, some notables:

• Hunter Harvey was promoted to Triple-A Norfolk, as the oft-injured right-hander looks to return to the Majors in a relief role.

• 2016 first-round pick Cody Sedlock jumped to Double-A Bowie, after pitching to a 2.36 ERA over 13 games in his second crack at Class A Advanced Short-Season Frederick.

• First baseman Ryan Ripken -- son of Cal -- was promoted to Double-A Bowie, where he joins Preston Palmeiro, son of Rafael.

One night without Hanser
The Orioles played a man down for Wednesday's game against the Nationals, their bench shortened without utility man Hanser Alberto, who missed the game to attend the birth of his second child. However, the club did not place Alberto on the paternity list, which would’ve required him to remain inactive through Friday. Instead, he is expected to return when the O's open their three-game series against Boston that day.

In other news, slumping outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. found himself on the bench on Wednesday for the third time in six second-half games. Smith is hitless in his last 30 at-bats and is just 9-for-58 since missing two weeks to a concussion in early June.

Keon Broxton, who is hitting .192 this season, also sat Wednesday. Broxton was held out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight game.

Honored guests
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and former University of Maryland star Darnell Savage Jr. threw out ceremonial first pitches before Wednesday’s finale of the Battle of the Beltways. Jackson is the second Ravens player to throw out a first pitch at Camden Yards this season, following wide receiver Marquise Brown in May.