One more big chance for Rhodes

August 01, 1994|By Lori Van Lonkhuyzen | Lori Van Lonkhuyzen,Sun Staff Writer

The last time Arthur Rhodes was called up from Triple-A Rochester, the Orioles were in a bit of a pinch.

Rhodes, the Orioles' "work in progress," is still just that, but Rhodes is again making the commute from upstate New York to Baltimore because the Orioles are, once again, in a pinch and need to dig deep for a fifth starter.

"It's about the same as last time he came up and made a start for us," Orioles manager Johnny Oates said on the eve of tonight's opener of a three-game series in Minnesota. "He's been throwing a lot of breaking balls for strikes, changing speeds, staying aggressive. It's about identical to what they said about him last time."

Rhodes was called up to face Cleveland June 28 when the Orioles were in desperate need of a starter. The experience was not a good one.

Rhodes gave up five earned runs, two home runs, seven hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings. He also struck out four. The Orioles went on to lose 9-8.

Rhodes returned to Rochester. Tonight, the Orioles find out if he has learned anything since then.

His opponent is Twins right-hander Pat Mahomes (8-4, 5.06 ERA).

Rhodes, who is 1-5 with the Orioles this year, has an 8.83 ERA in 34 2/3 innings pitched. He has given up eight home runs in eight games, all of which were starts.

His major-league stats are subpar, but Rhodes can boast much more impressive stats at Rochester.

This year he is 6-3, with a 2.75 ERA in 68 2/3 innings pitched. In 11 starts, he has given up just five home runs and has struck out 63. Three of those 11 starts were complete games.

Opponents are batting .216 against him at Rochester, but at Baltimore, the average shoots up to .285.

After his start, either Rhodes or Mark Williamson will go to the bullpen. Rhodes is 13-19 with a 5.96 ERA in 48 starts lifetime with the Orioles.

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