Fernandez's next stop may be DL, not a start

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

June 25, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Unless he makes a quicker-than-expected recovery from what the club believes to be a rib-cage muscle pull, Orioles left-hander Sid Fernandez appears headed for the disabled list.

Scratched from his scheduled start against the Toronto Blue Jays last night, Fernandez will start Tuesday in Cleveland only if he is able to prove he can pitch pain-free two days before that, said Orioles manager Johnny Oates.

Mike Oquist, originally scheduled to make his next start Tuesday, stood in for Fernandez last night.

Rochester left-hander Rick Krivda, whose 28-inning scoreless streak ended Thursday, is the most likely replacement starter if Fernandez is unable to go Tuesday.

If Fernandez is placed on the disabled list retroactive to his last start, he would be eligible to pitch again a week from Monday.

"I can't pinpoint when it happened or how it happened," said Fernandez.

Said Oates: "I'm not sure whether he'll be able to pitch Tuesday. He'll have to show us he can throw the ball before that."

Guarding against raising a player's hopes, Oates declined to say who the backup is, but it is Krivda's turn to pitch Tuesday for Rochester, making him the natural choice.

Krivda is 6-4 with a 2.79 ERA, even after allowing six earned runs on nine hits and four walks.

A secondary option is Scott Klingenbeck, who earned a victory in his first major-league start June 2 against the Detroit Tigers.

L Klingenbeck is scheduled to start Monday for Double-A Bowie.

Krivda is the more likely candidate, especially considering that Cleveland has a 5-12 record against left-handed starters.

Sabo in left

Oates has been using Chris Sabo in the outfield corner that has less ground to cover, with Jeffrey Hammonds playing on the other corner. At Oriole Park at Camden Yards, that means Hammonds plays left and Sabo right.

At the symmetrical Skydome, Sabo played left and Hammonds right for two reasons.

"It's a shorter throw to third base from left field, plus left field is a little easier to play than right," Oates said. "There are more right-handed hitters than left-handed hitters and a ball hit to the opposite field is harder to catch because of the way it [tails]."

So far, so-so

Left-hander Arthur Rhodes is 3-3, 3.21 in six starts for Rochester since being demoted. There is some thought within the organization that it would be better for his development to let him pitch every fifth day for a long period of time in Triple-A.

Oates, however, does not necessarily agree.

"Give me the five best pitchers we've got and let's go after them," Oates said. "If he's one of the five best, he should be here. If he's not, then he shouldn't be here."

Mending Jays relievers

Of the Blue Jays' two sore-armed relievers, Danny Cox is nearer to returning to the active list. Closer Duane Ward is "at about 60 to 70 percent," according to manager Cito Gaston.

Cox is scheduled to begin an injury rehabilitation assignment at Single-A Dunedin on Monday.

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