Tackett caught off guard by demotion to Rochester

Orioles notebook

August 25, 1993|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

Catcher Jeff Tackett didn't see it coming.

He arrived at Camden Yards to get ready for last night's game against the California Angels and was told that the next game he would be playing in would be for the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings.

Tackett was optioned to the minor leagues to make room for the return of everyday catcher Chris Hoiles. He'll spend the next 10 days with the Red Wings, then rejoin the Orioles three days after the roster limit rises to 40 on Sept. 1.

He can return sooner only if there is an injury, since an optioned player must spend a minimum of 10 days in the minor leagues.

"I'll rejoin the club in Oakland on Sept. 3," said Tackett.

Manager Johnny Oates apparently decided that the club would be better served by keeping veteran Mark Parent in reserve. Parent has delivered some big swings for the Orioles since he was recalled from Rochester, while Tackett has struggled to produce in a limited role.

"I don't understand it and I don't like it," Tackett said. "I may be ticked off about it, but there isn't a lot I can do. I'm just going to go down there and play every day."

Oates thinks that might be good for him. Tackett is batting .169 with no homers and eight RBI in 35 games as a catcher. He also appeared in one game as a pitcher.

Parent, who had played every day for the Red Wings for much of the season, stepped right in and drove in 10 runs in 16 games.

"It's only going to be 10 days," Oates said.

"Bernie [Parent] is swinging the bat well. He has played all year and he's in shape. I thought it was best at this point in the season to keep him. Jeff can go out for 10 days and get his bat going."

Right-hander Rick Sutcliffe underwent surgery yesterday to remove a piece of torn cartilage from his left knee, and Oates said that it went well.

"What they told me on the phone was that a little piece of cartilage had to be snipped," Oates said. "They said it was a very clean knee for who he is and how long he has been in athletics."

No timetable has been established for Sutcliffe's return, but the positive report on the operation led Oates to conclude that he might be throwing again soon.

"It's very preliminary, but they told me the other day that if all went well he could be back out there in three weeks," Oates said. "If it was as easy as it sounded, it may be three weeks."

Sutcliffe is expected to be at Camden Yards today to begin his rehabilitation program.

No Davis update

First baseman Glenn Davis seemed more relaxed before yesterday's game, leading to speculation that he had resolved a disagreement with the team about whether he would go on a minor-league rehabilitation assignment. But he -- and team officials -- said yesterday that nothing had been settled.

Olson throws again

Closer Gregg Olson threw off the mound for seven minutes yesterday and reported no problems with the elbow that forced him onto the disabled list.

"It went well," Olson said. "Today was the first time I've thrown off the mound. We'll see how everything goes tomorrow. I might take a day off tomorrow one way or another."

Olson said that he threw his fastball at about 70 percent velocity and his curveball at about half-speed.

He hopes to step it up over the next few days and get back into action next week.

"I haven't had a problem, and I'm very encouraged by that," he said. "I'm somewhat shooting for early next week. I want to get back as soon as I can."

Oates on McGehee

Oates obviously didn't hold Kevin McGehee's five-run debut on Tuesday night against him, or McGehee might have been the guy on the return flight to Rochester.

"I just think he was very nervous out there in his first inning," Oates said. "I always like to get that first one out of the way. I thought he threw some good pitches after that. He's got a sneaky breaking ball."

Hammonds on Hammonds

Rookie Jeffrey Hammonds took batting practice the last few days and seems to be bouncing back from the neck injury that has left him on the disabled list.

He is eligible to come back any time, but still figures to be out for the next week or so.

"I'm excited," he said, "but I'll have to see what happens over the next few days."

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