Adding depth, O's welcome Smith, recall Pennington, Carey

Orioles notebook

September 11, 1993|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

The Orioles beefed up their roster yesterday, recalling reliever Brad Pennington and first baseman Paul Carey and welcoming veteran Lonnie Smith to Baltimore.

The additions give manager Johnny Oates added depth in several key areas. Pennington is the extra left-hander who could free up Jim Poole for more innings. Carey gives the club extra left-handed power. Smith, acquired Wednesday for two minor-league players, will be a pinch hitter, part-time designated hitter and part-time outfielder.

"I have all the options available," said Oates, who has had to maneuver at less-than-full strength several times this season.

Smith seemed pleased with the opportunity to help, though he will not be eligible for postseason play because he was acquired after Aug. 31.

"Of course I'm happy," he said yesterday. "What player wouldn't be happy to come from 20-some games back."

Smith, 37, appeared in the past two World Series with the Atlanta Braves, but had spent the first five months of this season with the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates. He has played on five pennant-winning teams during his 14-year career, and Oates seems confident that Smith's experience will be invaluable in the Orioles' clubhouse in the next few weeks.

"From what I've been told," Oates said Wednesday, "it [the trade] will pay off even if he doesn't go to the plate, because of his presence in the clubhouse."

Smith isn't used to such flattery, not after a career that has had more than its share of on- and off-field controversy, but he appreciated the kind words.

"In my 14 years in the majors, I've been criticized quite a bit," he said, "by the media, by even some coaches and players. To have a compliment like that from someone who maybe hasn't even seen you play feels good."

Oates has to feel good about his roster. He has three left-handed relievers -- Poole, Pennington and John O'Donoghue -- and enough offensive depth for maximum flexibility.

Smith has the experience to come off the bench in a tough pinch-hit situation and can play every day if needed.

Carey probably will be used as a left-handed pinch hitter and defensive replacement, coming in late if Oates needs to use a runner for starting first baseman David Segui.

The call-ups cost the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings two key players in the middle of a tight International League playoff series, but it couldn't be helped. The Orioles have a chance to win the American League East, and one game -- even one pinch-hit at-bat -- could make the difference.

The Orioles have 32 players active and probably will recall right-hander Mike Oquist after the Red Wings are through with postseason play.

Sutcliffe throws again

Right-hander Rick Sutcliffe threw to hitters yesterday for the second time in three days and again reported no problems with the left knee that was surgically repaired 2 1/2 weeks ago.

"I felt good," Sutcliffe said.

"I don't think I could throw tomorrow, but it's whatever they want now."

Sutcliffe probably will work out of the bullpen unless an &r opportunity for a spot start arises during the next couple of weeks. The rotation has been re-configured to maximize the use of Mike Mussina, Ben McDonald and Jamie Moyer, but Oates has said a start for Sutcliffe is not out of the question.

Oates said yesterday chances are good Sutcliffe will be activated today.

"I'm just going to wait for my turn and hopefully it won't come," Sutcliffe said.

"Hopefully, we'll throw shutouts every night, and it won't be necessary."

Cruise cashes in

The annual Orioles Wives Cruise was held Thursday night and raised $53,000 for Johns Hopkins Children's Center. The event drew more than 400 persons, including Sutcliffe, Poole, Moyer, McDonald, Gregg Olson, Arthur Rhodes, Jeff Tackett, Jack Voigt and Mark Williamson.

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