Experimenting, Rhodes makes a change for worse vs. Texas

Oriole notebook

March 12, 1992|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Arthur Rhodes found out yesterday that the learning process can sometimes be painful.

The promising young lefthander pitched three solid innings in the Orioles' 2-1 loss to the Texas Rangers, but one mistake cost him a run on Kevin Reimer's fifth-inning home run.

"A [stupid] changeup," said Rhodes. "A changeup I left up in the middle of the plate. A pitch I shouldn't have thrown."

The changeup, however, is one thing pitching coach Dick Bosman wants Rhodes to add to his pitch selection. So, during the regular season a changeup may have been a bad pitch to Reimer, but not during an exhibition.

"If he gets that pitch down, it can only make him that much tougher," Bosman said of the hard-throwing lefthander, who pitched two scoreless innings against the Kansas City Royals in his first outing.

Rhodes was most impressive while pitching to Ruben Sierra in the fourth. After falling behind 3-and-0, he threw a curveball for a strike, then came back to strike out the Rangers slugger with a fastball. Rhodes didn't issue any walks in his three innings and his control continues to be one of the most encouraging signs in camp.

* NINTH-INNING LOSS: With only four regulars in the lineup, the Orioles managed just four hits against six Texas pitchers. Their lone run came on Mark McLemore's eighth-inning home run.

The Rangers won the game in the bottom of the ninth, when Monty Fariss singled with two outs to drive in the winning run. Non-roster left-hander Israel Sanchez worked two-thirds of an inning in his exhibition debut and was the loser.

Mike Flanagan pitched two scoreless innings behind Ben McDonald and Rhodes, allowing two hits.

* DRABEK, MAGRANE NEXT: The Orioles are scheduled to face a couple of pitchers with interesting backgrounds today.

In the regularly scheduled "A" game, former Cy Young Award winner Doug Drabek will start for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the "B" game this morning, Joe Magrane, who led the National League in earned run average in 1988, will pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Mike Mussina, Jose Mesa, Alan Mills and Gregg Olson will pitch the "A" game for the Orioles. Eric Hetzel, Amalio Carreno and Richie Lewis were slated for the "B" game.

* CUTTING BLOCK: There is every indication that the Orioles will trim their spring training roster after today's games by sending some non-roster players to the minor-league camp.

Manager John Oates, however, would not speculate on the number, or even confirm that cuts would be made. The Orioles have 48 players in camp, including eight who aren't on the big-league roster.

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