There is no uncertainty about the role the newest Oriole will play.
Todd Frohwirth is his name and relief pitching is his game. All of the 437 appearances he has made as a professional have been out of the bullpen.
"I'm a middle man," said Frohwirth, a 6-foot-4 righthander who was recalled yesterday from Triple A Rochester. "I've always been a reliever."
Manager John Oates put him right to work. Frohwirth, the 11th pitcher on the staff, pitched a perfect eighth inning in last night's 5-2 win over Cleveland.
The Orioles chose him over two other Rochester pitchers, Rob Woodward (4-1, one save) and Francisco dela Rosa (1-1, one save). Frohwirth was leading the International League with eight saves. He had a 1-3 record and a 3.65 earned run average in 24 2/3 innings spread over 20 appearances.
"We wanted a righthanded reliever with major-league experience," said Oates, noting that Frohwirth worked in 72 games for the Phillies over the past four seasons. "Our people say he's likely to do better than the other two."
Oates plans to use Frohwirth against righthanders like he does Kevin Hickey against lefthanders.
"He's had great success against righthanders this year, but has struggled to get lefthanders out," Oates said. "He's the kind of pitcher you use one time through the lineup."
Always a sidearmer, Frohwirth dropped his arm down even farther to become a submarine pitcher with coaching from submariner Kent Tekulve when both were with the Phillies in 1987 and '88.
"Tekulve gave me a lot of help," said Frohwirth, 28, whose first pro season was 1984.