McDonald returns Bautista sent down

Orioles notes

April 20, 1991|By Kent Baker

Right-hander Ben McDonald was reinstated from the Baltimore Orioles' disabled list yesterday and was placed in the bullpen until further notice.

To make room on the roster, the club designated pitcher J.J. Bautista for assignment.

Manager Frank Robinson said McDonald was "available if I need him" for relief duty last night, but he wasn't required in the Orioles' 5-0 victory.

L Robinson remained noncommittal about McDonald's first start.

There is an opening tomorrow afternoon, but the manager said McDonald will "not necessarily" fill it. The decision depends primarily on the needs from the bullpen today and the weekend weather forecast, which makes a postponement today highly possible.

McDonald pitched five innings Wednesday at extended spring training in Florida and reported no problems from the strained muscle in his right elbow.

"There was good weather, and I was able to get loose a lot faster," said McDonald. "But I have a little ways to go as far as becoming sharp."

Meanwhile, Bautista said: "I'm not really disappointed. I have to come in tomorrow and talk with them about it. I don't know what they plan."

Bautista could not be sent to the minor leagues without passing through waivers because he is out of options.

"If nobody claims him, you can send him out," said general manager Roland Hemond. "But players have the right to accept or not accept it."

Bautista, 26, was 2-0 record with a 0.66 ERA in 10 games in spring training. But, once the season began, he has had a 20.77 ERA, allowing 13 hits and a .520 batting average in 4 1/3 innings.

"He wasn't throwing with the same velocity and was up with everything," Robinson said. "It was no mystery that he was getting hit."

Davis gets fourth error

After a review, the official scorer in Milwaukee has charged first baseman Glenn Davis with a fourth error in Thursday afternoon's game.

The change means Davis has tied an American League record for errors by a first baseman in a game. It had been done three previous times, most recently by Jim Wasdell of the 1939 Washington Senators.

Originally, Bill Ripken was given the error on a flip to Davis in the ninth inning after a ground ball had caromed off the first baseman. The throw glanced off Davis' glove.

"I told Billy after the game that I felt the ball was catchable. I don't mind taking the error. Billy didn't deserve it," said Davis.

When told that he tied a dubious AL record, Davis said, "If you have a bad game, at least you make it count."

Davis said that he is still adjusting to the bounces off grass fields rather than the AstroTurf in Houston. And he admitted to having some trepidations coming out last night.

"As a major-leaguer, I'm supposed to say, 'It's no problem,' but I was really battling out there. I'm accustomed to playing the hop. But you go out there until you get comfortable."

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