Cook recalled to bolster bullpen

Orioles notebook

September 29, 1993|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

The Orioles made a surprise roster move yesterday, calling up right-handed pitcher Mike Cook from the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings roster to provide some added bullpen depth for the remainder of the season.

To make room for Cook on the 40-man roster, the club had to place outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds on the 60-day disabled list, but that was merely a paper transaction since Hammonds already had been shelved for the season.

The move will allow manager Johnny Oates a little more pitching flexibility over the final days of the season. He now will have the option of starting one of the club's young prospects this weekend.

Cook had been at home the past couple of weeks resting up for winter ball, but he jumped at the chance to get a week of major-league salary and service time.

"They called me and asked if I could pitch, so I came out," he said.

Cook, 30, was signed as a free agent last winter and invited to spring training. He ended up at Rochester, where he was 6-7 with a 3.10 ERA and 13 saves in 57 relief appearances.

He hopes that was enough to earn him another invitation to spring training next year.

"I don't know what to think," he said. "Hopefully, they want me back, but no one has said anything."

In the meantime, Cook will enjoy his week in the majors and prepare for another season of winter ball in Puerto Rico.

More pitching plans

Oates said that left-hander Arthur Rhodes will start Thursday's series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays and Ben McDonald will start the final game of the season, but Friday's and Saturday's starts remain open. Oates could go with youngsters Kevin McGehee, John O'Donoghue or Mike Oquist, depending on who pitches in relief over the next few days. Veterans Fernando Valenzuela and Rick Sutcliffe also are available.

Hoiles hangs in

Catcher Chris Hoiles is playing with a sore lower back, an injury he says is not related to the muscle strain that put him on the disabled list earlier this season.

"I think it's just tired," said Hoiles. "The other thing was more of a rib cage thing. I've caught a lot of games this year. It's a little tired and stiff."

Nevertheless, he was in the lineup last night, improving on an outstanding offensive season with a two-run double in the first inning and his 27th home run in the seventh. He still has an outside chance to hit 30 homers this year and equal a club record set by Gus Triandos.

"I'd love that," Hoiles said before the game. "I'd like to hit more than 30, because it's never been done before. It would take a heckuva week."

His homers and 77 RBI constitute a breakthrough season that should add up to a big payday this winter.

"I feel the season has been a big success," Hoiles said. "Hitting 30 [homers] would be great, but if I stay at 26, I've had a productive year."

Injured O's

Right fielder Mark McLemore was out of the starting lineup last night with a jammed wrist, suffered during Sunday's doubleheader loss to the Detroit Tigers.

He probably will play sparingly over the final five days of the season.

Designated hitter Harold Baines also got the night off last night after playing through knee soreness in the series opener against the Yankees.

Things go better with Voigt

Utility man Jack Voigt found out yesterday that a good quote can be a rewarding experience. He made a light-hearted reference to his affinity for Coca-Cola in a recent Sports Illustrated article and came back to the clubhouse yesterday to find 10 cases of the soft drink had been delivered to his locker.

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