No word on exactly what the Orioles thought of him, but apparently he has a pretty impressive arsenal.
The problem is it's protocol to avoid players who have allegiances with Japanese teams. So although the Orioles wouldn't be doing anything wrong if they pursued Otani, it would be frowned upon in Japanese baseball circles. And with the Orioles ruffling feathers in Korea last year when they signed a high-schooler, you'd think they'd probably prefer not to go that route again.
That said, one scout told me Otani hit 99 mph with his fastball and also has a plus curve. If he were graduating from an American high school this year, the 18-year-old would likely be a Top 5 pick in the June draft, the scout said.
It will be interesting to see if any
Fellow Japanese high-school right-hander Shintaro Fujinami, who is also highly coveted, was drafted and is expected to play in Japan, according to Baseball America.
Showalter set to host 5K
Showalter said the knee pain didn't stop him from running out to the field to argue calls. Going back to the dugout when the adrenaline wore off wasn't real comfortable, though.
Hale still a candidate?
Showalter's coaching staff appears set – for now. With some managerial jobs still open, the Orioles aren't writing it in ink just yet.
Third-base coach DeMarlo Hale, for instance, could still be in play – perhaps in Toronto – after interviewing for the Red Sox job that ultimately went to the
And based on the job Ron Johnson did at Triple-A Norfolk this year, some in the organization wouldn't be shocked if another team inquires about bringing the long-time baseball man back to the majors as a coach.
There also was some talk that maybe bullpen coach Bill Castro could be utilized in more of an international role for the Orioles' organization, but the sense is he will be staying in the same position for 2013.
The Orioles now officially have 14 players eligible for arbitration. As expected, pitchers
The Orioles will have 15 arbitration eligible players if they decline the $11 million option on