Finley passing Robinson's everyday test, so far


September 23, 1990|By Kent Baker

So far, Steve Finley has made the every-day experiment a success.

Manager Frank Robinson is trying to answer some questions during the waning days of this lost season, and one of them is: Can Finley be a regular next year?

"He hasn't done anything to discourage us from giving that serious thought," Robinson said yesterday. "What we're doing now is not going to provide a full answer, but it will give us a little better idea how he would hold up."

Finley has started every game in the outfield since Aug. 31, playing against all types of pitching. He is batting .330 in the past 23 games and seems to be handling left-handed pitching well.

But he knows a big finish will not bring any guarantees.

"Nobody has a solidified spot," said Finley, who leads the Orioles in steals with 20. "I'll still have to go to spring training and show them again."

The trade of Phil Bradley lowered the number of people in the outfield rotation that Robinson has used the past two seasons and, to a lesser extent, he also is playing Brady Anderson the same way he is Finley.

With the Orioles in a position to deal again this winter, it is possible one may be swapped since they have similar styles.

"That's one of the things I can't control," said Finley, "so I don't worry about it. All I know is I'm getting more at-bats, and it's easier to prepare knowing you're going to be in there every day."

Finley has had a reasonably consistent year at the plate and has avoided the injuries (sprained shoulder, sprained wrist) that slowed him as a rookie in 1989.

* The Orioles wrapped up their organizational meetings yesterday, and general manager Roland Hemond described them as "action-packed."

"We concentrated on the other 25 organizations on the final day. This gives you a picture, and the next few weeks we'll dissect it."

Robinson said the Orioles now "may have enough in the system that we can afford to include some prospects in a trade."

He said the gathering seemed to go along with his thinking that the major-league club needs a stabilizing, veteran pitcher, a hard-throwing left-hander and some hitting help.

"These sessions try to tell us whether these people are available and where," he said.

* The Orioles' Instructional League team rallied on a run-scoring single by Pete Rose II in the eighth inning to tie George Mason University, 3-3, at Frederick yesterday.

Doug Reynolds hit a two-run homer for the Orioles, who trailed, 3-0, in the seventh. They have a 7-3-1 record in the league and have lost only once in the past seven games.

* The Orioles have only three passed balls, and if they don't commit another this year, would tie the American League record for a 162-game season.

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