Sid out Krivda or Rhodes in?

SIDELIGHT

June 27, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Orioles left-hander Sid Fernandez threw in the bullpen yesterday for three minutes, which was long enough for him to determine he will not be able to start tomorrow night's game in Cleveland.

The club is making plans to put Fernandez on the disabled list to give him time to recover from a rib-cage muscle pull, though no move was made last night.

The transaction could mean a return to the major leagues for left-hander Arthur Rhodes, who started the year in the Orioles' rotation before pitching his way onto Triple-A Rochester's roster.

The Orioles are expected to choose between Rhodes and fellow Rochester left-hander Rick Krivda. Rhodes is scheduled to make his next start for Rochester tonight and Krivda's turn comes up tomorrow.

Rhodes was optioned to Rochester after allowing five earned runs in one inning May 21 at Yankee Stadium in his first start off the disabled list, where he spent nearly three weeks nursing knee tendinitis.

Rhodes is 3-3 with a 3.21 ERA in six starts for the Red Wings. Under ideal circumstances, the club had hoped he would be able to spend significant time in the minor leagues getting himself straightened out, but now that a need for a starting pitcher has arisen, that could change.

"If he's one of the five best, then he should be here," Orioles manager Johnny Oates said of Rhodes.

Whichever pitcher is called up likely will be asked to make two starts, which gives Rhodes the advantage because he has major-league experience and Krivda does not.

It's no coincidence both pitchers being considered are left-handed. The Cleveland Indians are 5-14 against left-handed starters and 37-14 against right-handers.

Fernandez, 31, had pitched as many as 200 innings in only three of his nine seasons in the major leagues before the Orioles signed him to a three-year, $9 million contract.

The corpulent lefty has made 10 injury rehabilitation starts in the past four seasons.

The Orioles remain confident Fernandez will establish himself as one of the league's top No. 3 starters, but he hasn't done so thus far.

Fernandez has gone 4-4, with a 4.44 ERA in 13 starts. He has allowed 17 home runs in 81 innings. This will be his second trip of the season to the DL. He opened the year on the disabled list recovering from bursitis in his left shoulder.

"When he's been on the mound he's pitched OK for us," Oates said. "He had the one blowout outing in Milwaukee [five earned runs in 1 2/3 innings], but other than that he's kept us in ballgames and thrown OK for us."

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