O's look for consistency in young righty
The Baltimore Orioles know they have an electric arm in Radhames Liz. The lanky right-hander struck out 149 batters over 133 1/3 innings last season between Class A advanced Frederick and Double-A Bowie. Along with all the strikeouts, however, the 23-year-old Dominican also issued 75 walks.
He compiled a 6-5 record and 2.82 ERA in 16 starts for the Keys -- including a pair of double-digit strikeout performances -- prior to his promotion in July. For the Baysox, Liz was less than stellar, going 3-1 with a 5.36 ERA.
Liz has pitched just 26 innings over eight games for the Dominican Winter League's Estrellas de Oriente, and he's picked up where he left off. While he continues to rack up strikeouts (32), his control has been an issue (15 walks).
Here's how other Orioles prospects are faring in various Winter Leagues:
Dominican Winter League
OF Napoleon Calzado, OF -- Through 33 games for the Tigres del Licey, the 29-year-old Calzado is hitting just .234 with two home runs and 17 RBIs.
Fredy Deza, RHP -- The DWL has not been kind to Deza, despite a respectable 3.00 ERA in 14 games for the Azucareros del Este. Opponents are batting .310 against him, banging out 22 hits and drawing six walks in 18 innings.
Eddy Garabito, 2B -- Garabito has been a stable presence for the Azucareros del Este, appearing in a team-high 43 of 46 games. During that time, the 30-year-old middle infielder has hit .265 and scored 21 runs.
Franklyn Gracesqui, LHP -- Gracesqui's time in the DWL has been anything but graceful. Though he carries a 3-1 record for the Leones del Escogido, the 6-foot-5 lefty is sporting a 5.17 ERA while opponents are hitting .274 against him. He has struck out 26 and walked 10 in 15 2/3 innings.
Carlos Jan, LHP -- Jan struck out the only batter he faced this week for the Estrellas de Oriente. The 27-year-old southpaw now has seven strikeouts over seven innings.
Julio Manon, RHP -- Manon has been struggling mightily this fall for the Azucareros del Este. The 33-year-old veteran carries an 8.10 ERA, while the league is hitting an even .400 against him. He has given up 14 hits and five walks over 6 2/3 innings.
Venezuelan Winter League
Luis Hernandez, SS -- After starting December 4-for-27 (.148), Hernandez has come back to life for the Tiburones de La Guaira. The 22-year-old shortstop, who spent all of 2006 in the Atlanta Braves organization, is riding a five-game hitting streak and batting .444 (8-for-18) over that span. His best game came against Oriente on Dec. 13, when he went 3-for-5 with a triple, two doubles and a season-high four RBIs.
Nick McCurdy, RHP -- The former Oklahoma State Cowboy made just two brief appearances this past week for the Tiburones de La Guaira, both against Caracas. The 26-year-old righty pitched a total of 1 1/3 scoreless innings and walked one batter.
Luis Ramirez, RHP -- Did not play for the Pastora de Los Llanos this week.
Arturo Rivas, OF -- Rivas saw action in two games early this past week for the Navegantes del Magallanes. The 22-year-old outfielder hit a home run and drove in two RBIs during a 6-3 loss to Caribes, then drove in a run the next day as his team dropped a 6-4 decision to Caracas.
Richard Salazar, RHP -- Salazar appeared in just one game for the Tiburones de La Guaira. He retired both batters he faced on Dec. 15 against Caracas, extending his scoreless innings streak to 14 innings.
Eider Torres, SS -- Torres did not play for the Pastora de Los Llanos this week.