<
>

Wednesday's Top 5: Henry Urrutia lifts Orioles

1. Henry Urrutia, Baltimore Orioles. Who? Hopefully Urrutia will avoid the fate of Tuesday's No. 1 guy, Pedro Florimon, who got designated for assignment on Wednesday after hitting a game-winning triple the night before. Urrutia, a 28-year-old from Cuba just called up a few days ago, had received 58 at-bats with the O's in 2013, getting one extra-base hit, but hit his first major league homer in the bottom of the ninth to give the Orioles a 5-4 win over the New York Mets. Urrutia can hit -- he hit .347 in the upper minors in 2013 and .292/.344/.414 with 10 home runs at Triple-A this year -- and is the kind of player who would have a nice career as a bench presence back in the '70s or '80s, before teams started carrying so many relievers. He doesn't quite have the power you want from a corner outfielder, but look for him to play a little left field and a little DH down the stretch.

2. Chase Utley, Los Angeles Dodgers. That felt weird to type. With Howie Kendrick out for a couple more week and the Dodgers wanting to use Kiki Hernandez more in the outfield, they acquired Utley from the Phillies to fill in at second. Hey, he's 15-for-31 since coming off the DL in early August. He's obviously past his prime -- from 2005 to 2010 Utley was second to Albert Pujols in WAR among all position players -- but his latest surge suggests he can still contribute something to L.A.'s playoff push.

Utley finishes his tenure in Philadelphia ranked fourth all time in career WAR with the franchise, behind Mike Schmidt, Robin Roberts and Steve Carlton. Pretty nice company. Utley may not have the longevity to eventually join those three in the Hall of Fame, but I'm guessing Phillies fans hold him in similar regard.

3. Daniel Norris, Detroit Tigers. First, the rookie pitcher apparently broke a scoreboard at Wrigley Field in batting practice. Then, in his first professional at-bat -- in the minors or majors -- he homered to center field off Jon Lester. A Baseball America scouting report when he was drafted: "An outstanding athlete, Norris played quarterback until his senior year of high school, and he showed easy power as a hitter. His future is very much on the mound, however ..." Unfortunately, he left the game -- a 15-8 win over the Chicago Cubs -- in the fifth inning with a strained oblique, so didn't last long enough to get the win.

4. Juan Perez, San Francisco Giants. Nice catch!

5. Greg Bird, New York Yankees. Two home runs, four RBIs, the Yankees win 4-3. I guess that's kind of a one-man show. Nice job, rook.