Everybody to get turn in right

Orioles notebook

April 08, 1993|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Staff Writer

Orioles manager Johnny Oates said yesterday that he plans to get every regular player on the roster into action by the conclusion of this weekend's series with the Seattle Mariners.

The most immediate beneficiaries are right fielders Chito Martinez and Sherman Obando, who are scheduled for starts in the Kingdome.

Martinez, the left-handed hitter in the Orioles' three-man right-field platoon, will start tomorrow night against Seattle right-hander Erik Hanson. Oates said Obando, a right-handed hitter, will get a start against either John Cummings or Randy Johnson, both left-handers.

Martinez and Obando were in holding patterns to start the year as the Texas Rangers started left-handers Craig Lefferts and Charlie Leibrandt in their first two games.

Oates chose to start Luis Mercedes, rather than Obando, but he declared right field up for grabs.

"We'll play all three of those guys and if one of them wins it, the other two will sit," said Oates.

Obando, 23, from Panama, is a Rule V draftee from the New York Yankees and must remain on the Orioles' roster all season or be offered back to the Yankees for $25,000.

His size (6 feet 4, 215 pounds) and strength could be appealing to Oates, who said he was looking to get Obando a start once "the hoopla of starting the season settles down."

Obando said: "I'm a hard worker and very disciplined. If I'm starting this weekend, I'm looking forward to the chance. I just want to do my best."

Hurry up and wait

One of the first examples of the new mandate to quicken the pace of games came in the first inning last night, when plate umpire John Shulock hustled Leibrandt along and prohibited catcher Ivan Rodriguez from talking with the pitcher.

Oates said he hadn't noticed a difference in the pace of games through the first three days and said application of the new policy will "come down to common sense."

"There's going to be times when I know that I'm going to make a move and I'm going to go ahead and make my move," said Oates. "If I'm in a one-run ballgame in the eighth inning and I've got a decision to make, I'm going to use common sense and I expect the other managers to do the same thing. You can't go and make a farce of the game."

A hometown legend

Mike Mussina, last night's Orioles starter, will be the subject of a new exhibit at the Little League Baseball Museum in his hometown Williamsport, Pa., the home of the Little League World Series.

The display, scheduled to open this Saturday, will feature Mussina's 1980 regular-season uniform, All-Star jersey and glove, well as his personal scrapbook and a hand-drawn baseball, done by Mussina when he was 12.

Mussina played Little League and high school baseball in nearby Montoursville, Pa., and his display will be included with those honoring Mike Schmidt, Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan and others.

Randy's ready

Seattle's Johnson, who will face the Orioles Sunday, struck out 14 Blue Jays in Tuesday's opener.

Johnson, who led the majors in strikeouts last year with 241, walked 13 Orioles in 6 1/3 innings last season, including 10 in one game here, but he looked like a new man to Oates.

"He looked completely different. He didn't look herky-jerky. [Tuesday] was the best I've seen Randy Johnson around the plate," said Oates.

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