Also former FAU pitcher Tim Harikkala has been called up yesterday by the Oakland A's and former FAU closer Nick Mattioni has been promoted to take Harikkala's place with the Oakland's AAA team.
Great to see so many former FAU players doing so well!!
Jon Garland got the win for the White Sox and improved to 7-0(The only 7 game winner in the AL) on the year so Fiorentino wasn't facing a stiff tonight! Keep up the good work Jeff!!
Former local star Fiorentino goes from Class A ball to the Orioles.
By Craig Barnes
Posted May 12 2005
Linda Fiorentino flew to Baltimore on Wednesday for a Mother's Day present that neither she nor her son, Jeff, expected.
Jeff spent his first day with the Orioles as they beat Minnesota and Johan Santana 7-4.
The Orioles purchased the contracts of Fiorentino, a 22-year-old outfielder, from Class A Frederick and outfielder Keith Reed and catcher Sal Fasano from Triple-A Ottawa and optioned right-hander Rick Bauer to Ottawa.
Right fielder Sammy Sosa was put on the disabled list Tuesday with an abscess and staph infection on his left foot, and center fielder Luis Matos joined him Wednesday after suffering a broken finger on his right hand.
"My mom was going nuts," said Fiorentino, who starred at Florida Atlantic University where he was A-Sun Player of the Year in 2004, and Nova High School where he was the South Florida Sun-Sentinel Player of the Year in 2001.
Fiorentino, taken in the third round of last year's draft, was at least a year away, but Val Majewski injured his shoulder in the spring, and Tim Raines is hitting .196 at Ottawa. Fiorentino was hitting .313 with five homers and 13 RBI but was promoted because of his defense.
"[He] is probably our best defensive guy to come up and help us out," manager Lee Mazzilli said. "He is a good fielder and can run. He'll see some time."
Fiorentino thought Bien Figueroa, Frederick's manager, was joking when he told him he was headed for Baltimore. His goal for the year was Double-A Bowie.
"I was in shock," said Fiorentino, who hit over .300 at Aberdeen and Delmarva last year. "I thought, `How ridiculous is this?' I'm going to the big leagues. It was a dream come true."
Fiorentino hit .348 with 17 homers and 66 RBI for FAU last year.
Right-hander Tim Harikkala, another former Owl, was called up to the Oakland A's. He had a 1.27 ERA for Triple-A Sacramento.
"I want to prove that they made the right decision," Fiorentino said. "I don't want the talk to be about me being too young. I want to play like a veteran."
Fiorentino, a left-handed hitter who signed for $450,000, has always expected more than what he is producing.
"I'll do whatever they want," Fiorentino said. "I'll try to drive the ball until I get the feel for things. Maybe then, I'll get one out of the park. Who knows?
"Defensively, my arm is good enough, and I position myself so it isn't a big factor."
Fiorentino, a Hollywood resident, left college early because he didn't want to risk an injury during his senior year robbing him of a chance to play in the majors.
"But I never expected it to come this soon," Fiorentino said.
"This is what he always wanted," FAU coach Kevin Cooney said.
Craig Barnes can be reached at [email protected]
What an incredible "dream" he is living. Best wishes to him.
The Baltimore Sun
So far, Fiorentino's a major surprise
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The Washington Post
A First for Fiorentino
Rookie lauded after debut