Oates looks for relief to beef up thin bullpen

Orioles notebook

June 28, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

John O'Donoghue, the emergency starter yesterday in place of Mike Mussina, is expected to return to the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings today, with a reliever most likely replacing him on the roster.

"We'll do something tomorrow," said manager Johnny Oates, shortly after conferring with general manager Roland Hemond and his assistants, Frank Robinson and Doug Melvin. "We have to get another pitcher in here."

The most likely candidate to be promoted is Anthony Telford, who is 4-6 with a 4.29 ERA at Rochester. One of the other possibilities, Kevin McGehee, pitched an 11-inning complete game (110 pitches) while beating the Toledo Mud Hens yesterday and thus is removed from consideration.

Of Telford's 24 appearances at Rochester, 20 have been in relief, and the fact he has major-league experience also weighs in his favor. "We should be all right [tonight], but we have to have somebody here in case of an emergency," Oates said. "Ideally, we won't need anybody, but we have to be prepared."

The extra pitcher will remain with the Orioles until Friday, when Mussina is due to start in Chicago.

Mussina encouraged

Mussina threw on the side before yesterday's game, and all parties came away encouraged -- and glad that the right-hander skipped a start.

"I threw about 12 minutes with more intensity than the last time [Thursday]," Mussina said. "I felt better than I did then -- and that time I felt better than I had when I pitched [Tuesday against Detroit].

"They [the Orioles] probably made the right decision," said Mussina, who originally indicated he didn't think he had to miss a turn. "Hopefully, it will turn out best for the team and for myself, and we can go on from here."

Pitching coach Dick Bosman and Oates were enthusiastic after Mussina's workout. "He reported no difficulty," Bosman said. "I have no reason to think he won't pitch Friday."

Mussina's soreness was diagnosed as a "mild, but irritable" case of biceps tendinitis, with rest the prescribed remedy. "After throwing [yesterday], I think Mike has accepted the fact that he was feeling worse than he thought he was," Oates said. "Right now, he's feeling pretty good."

Obando back on DL

Sherman Obando lasted two games after returning to the Orioles roster following one month on the disabled list. The rookie outfielder was returned to the DL yesterday and replaced by O'Donoghue.

"It wasn't just his legs," Oates said. "His arms also cramped up [in his second at-bat Friday]. I wouldn't feel comfortable playing him until I'm sure the condition has been cleared up."

Obando's latest injury has been diagnosed as tetany, with recurrences of carpal-pedal spasms, a condition that could be induced by anxiety. He will undergo extensive tests by a neuro-muscular specialist today and tomorrow.

It's all in the family

When O'Donoghue made his major-league debut yesterday, he became the eighth rookie to appear in a game for the Orioles this season. He's also part of the fourth father-son combination to wear an Orioles uniform, three of them as players.

Bob (1954-1955) and Terry (1987-1988) Kennedy were the first father-son combo to play for the Orioles. The other two were completed this year with the arrival of Damon Buford and O'Donoghue.

Buford's father, Don, manager of the Double-A Bowie Baysox, played with the Orioles from 1968 to 1972. John O'Donoghue Sr., pitching coach at Bowie, pitched 16 games for the Orioles in 1968.

The other father-son combination, of course, belongs to the Ripken family.

First-round knockout

Jeffrey Hammonds' first major-league home run may have ended the career of veteran left-hander Neal Heaton.

Yesterday the Yankees announced they had released Heaton and purchased the contract of left-hander Paul Gibson from their Triple-A Columbus farm team.

The home run by Hammonds, a two-run blast in the seventh nTC inning of the Orioles' 12-10 comeback win Saturday, was the sixth allowed by Heaton in 27 innings.


The sellout of 45,146 put the Orioles' home attendance at Camden Yards over 5 million. This season's total is 1,520,919, an increase of 28,731 over last year at the same time, when the Orioles drew 3,567,819. . . . Hammonds has hits in his first three games. The club record for consecutive games with a hit at the start of a career is six by Chito Martinez in 1991. . . . David Segui extended his hitting streak to a career-high nine games with a single in the seventh inning. . . . The Yankees' Mike Gallego got two hits and has a 14-game hitting streak.

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