Johnson may get start soon

Orioles notes

May 05, 1991|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Sun Staff Correspondent

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Baltimore Orioles manager Frank Robinson said yesterday that right-hander Dave Johnson probably would return to the starting rotation soon.

"You'll see Dave [start] again," Robinson said. "I don't know what I'm going to do yet, but I would say that you'll see him start someday soon."

Johnson moved to the bullpen when Robinson went to a four-man starting rotation last week. The Orioles probably will go back to a five-man system later in the month, when there are fewer open dates on the schedule.

Though right-hander Bob Milacki also figures to be in line for a start, Robinson said that Johnson's performance in 1990 -- when he was the winningest pitcher on the club -- rates him the first look.

"That's all part of it," Robinson said. "He did a hell of a job last year. I believe in a guy losing his job instead of having someone take it away from him. I think he deserves a chance to show what he can do."

Johnson is 1-3 with a 9.82 ERA. He has failed to get the first out of the fifth inning in each of his past three starts.


McCraw: Horn needs to adjust

Batting coach Tom McCraw has been working with designated hitter Sam Horn to help him master the entire strike zone.

"He takes the inside strike," McCraw said. "He has to find a way to drop the head of the bat on that ball and make them stop throwing it there."

Robinson has been saying for the last week that Horn needs to swing the bat more. McCraw said that is because Horn has lost confidence in his ability to hit the ball on the inside part of the plate.

"I'm not trying to be a genius here," McCraw said. "We're not asking him to hit .300, just to drive in the big runs for us -- get us back in the game or put us out of reach.

"It's time for him to stop living off projections and start working on facts. The only way you do that is by producing."

Orsulak assists pile up

Outfielder Joe Orsulak not only leads the major leagues in outfield assists (with six), but his assist total also also is higher than all but three major-league teams'.

The St. Louis Cardinals, with seven, are the only team that has more. The Pittsburgh Pirates and Montreal Expos each are tied with Orsulak at six.


Davis exam might be last

First baseman Glenn Davis, who will visit back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles tomorrow, probably will look no further for opinions on his injured neck.

"I don't know that for sure," general manager Roland Hemond said, "but I suspect that this will be the last one."

Davis, who is on the 15-day disabled list, was encouraged by the results of his recent examination in Cleveland. He took ground balls at first base during pre-game warm-ups last night but had someone else throw the ball back.


The Orioles started the month of May with 2 straight victories for the first time since 1985. The club last won 3 straight to open May in 1979. . . . Six Orioles -- Mike Devereaux, Dwight Evans, Tim Hulett, Bob Melvin, Bill Ripken and Cal Ripken -- entered the game with a collective .342 batting average against last night's Angels starter, Mark Langston. . . . Leo Gomez started the game still looking for his first RBI of the year. He led the International League with 97 last year.

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