Lighter workload in July is no relief to Frohwirth But Oates, Bosman like deep bullpen

July 12, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

July has not been a fun time for Todd Frohwirth, even though he's part of one of the deepest and best bullpens in the American League. He has pitched neither often nor effectively, and says there is a connection between the two.

Manager Johnny Oates and pitching coach Dick Bosman disagree with Frohwirth, but none of the three is inclined to make an issue of the subject.

Frohwirth wasn't in a good frame of mind after yesterday's 11-5 loss to the Chicago White Sox. He gave up two home runs and TC was charged with five earned run in 1 1/3 innings, raising his ERA from 2.94 to 3.75.

"We were the best bullpen in the league [until recently] because we've got six guys who can get everyone out," said Frohwirth. "But no one goes out every day to do the same job.

"Willie [Mark Williamson], Millsie [Alan Mills] and myself can all do the same job. I don't think there's any question that all of us could do a better job if we weren't together."

Before that is interpreted as a trade request, Frohwirth hastened to explain his feeling. "Individually, I think it's a problem," he said. "But we're [only] 1 1/2 games out [of first place], and the manager might think that's the best way for us to win this thing.

"When I got into baseball, I did it for two reasons -- to feed my family and to win a World Series. My family's being fed because I was able to have a couple of good years.

"Now, if I have a 3.5 [ERA] and we can win the World Series, that's fine. I don't think it's good for me as a player [a limited work load], but maybe together we can get into the World Series."

In July, Frohwirth has allowed eight earned runs in five innings (a 14.40 ERA), continuing his 1993 pattern of following a good month with a mediocre one.

He pitched 14 innings to a 1.29 ERA in April; 14 2/3 innings with a 4.91 ERA in May; and 16 2/3 innings for a 1.62 ERA in June. Frohwirth, who has appeared in 39 games, is on pace to pitch 12 innings in July, only a little less than in any of the the previous three months.

"That's the way it's going to be," said Oates on his use of the Orioles' bullpen. "We've had six guys out there [the bullpen] all season. He [Frohwirth] pitched well before under the same setup, so he should be able to pitch well again.

"If that's a problem, we'll deal with it," said Oates. "The bullpen is what got us back into this thing [the race]. The return of [Mike] Devereaux and [Harold] Baines was important, and Fernando [Valenzuela] and [Jamie] Moyer have been great, but the bullpen has been fantastic.

"The last few days, with the exception of [Jim] Poole and [Gregg] Olson, they haven't thrown good. That's something we have to get straightened out."

In the past 10 games, the Orioles' bullpen has given up 34 hits, including nine home runs, and 29 earned runs in 30 innings (an 8.70 ERA).

Frohwirth has been in five games this month, with four of those appearances in the past five days. Before that, he had pitched one-third of an inning in nine days.

"With me it's not a question of being tired," said Frohwirth, "but not pitching as consistently as I did last year."

Bosman is not happy with Frohwirth's feelings. "I know he doesn't think he's getting enough work," said Bosman, "and I don't want to get into it because I might say some things I'll regret.

"We're doing the same things we did last year. We work on the same things in the bullpen -- trying to stay fresh and finding the [right] release point.

"Right now, both mentally and physically, this is a good time for the All-Star break. There's no doubt about it. When we come back, we'll keep working on those things.

"And," Bosman added, "we'll also work on his attitude."

ALL OR NOTHING

Todd Frohwirth has pitched four times in the past five days, but once in the nine days before that stretch. His July stats:

Date ... Opp. ... IP ... H ... ER ... BB ... SO

7/3 .... Chi. .... 1/3 0 .... 0 .... 0 .... 0

7/7 .... K.C. .... 1 ... 2 .... 2 .... 0 .... 1

7/8 .... Chi. .... 2 ... 2 .... 1 .... 0 .... 1

7/9 .... Chi. .... 1/3 0 .... 0 .... 0 .... 0

7/11 ... Chi. ... 1 1/3 5 .... 5 .... 0 .... 0

Totals ........... 5 ... 9 .... 8 .... 0 .... 2

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