Haynes lost, but not on the mound

SIDELIGHT

September 12, 1995|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

Jimmy Haynes arrived at Camden Yards for the first time Sunday and immediately got lost.

"I had a rough time finding my way," said one of the Orioles' top pitching prospects, who was recalled after the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings were eliminated from the International League playoffs Saturday night.

"I didn't know where to park or where the clubhouse was or anything. I had to stop and ask people which thing was where."

Haynes won't have any problem finding his way to the mound for the Orioles. Manager Phil Regan said yesterday that Haynes will make a start, but he hasn't decided when.

The lean right-hander continued his steady development with another strong season for the Red Wings, leading the league with 140 strikeouts, tying for the lead with 12 wins and registering a 3.29 ERA.

It marked the second straight season Haynes has topped his league in strikeouts (191 at Bowie in 1994) with an impressive arsenal of pitches that includes two types of fastballs, two types of curves and a changeup.

"Leading in strikeouts twice in a row looks good on your resume," he said. "It meant a lot to win that title."

He was particularly effective in the second half for Rochester and had a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning of the final game of a best-of-five playoff series against Ottawa. He left with two on and none out and the bullpen couldn't hold off the Lynx in a 4-2 loss.

"More or less, I started learning the hitters and tried to work to their weaknesses the second half," said Haynes. "I was throwing different pitches on different counts."

More importantly, perhaps, Haynes began to curb a tendency to show the opposition when he was perturbed, handling adversity with more composure.

"I started turning things around by concentrating more on what I was doing," he said. "I finally realized that if something bad happened, you couldn't do anything about it. It had already happened."

The final weeks with the Orioles probably will end Haynes' baseball activities for a while. Regan said that because Haynes "is on a pace to pitch 200 innings, I don't think he needs to go to winter ball."

So, with the team's wild-card chances now bleak, Haynes will get an audition or two as the club looks ahead to potential members of the 1996 rotation.

In the meantime, he will be in the bullpen, performing the menial tasks assigned to the newest rookies.

Haynes said he is ready for "the chance" to make his big-league debut in any role.

"I think I was throwing better at the end than at any time all year," he said. "I had better arm strength. You always hope to be here a little quicker, but I'll take this."

Haynes' normal turn wouldn't come until Friday when the New York Yankees are here, but Regan's rotation probably will depend on who pitches tomorrow night.

The winner of the Jim Palmer Prize as the Orioles' minor-league pitcher of the year in 1994, Haynes, who once struck out 16 in a game, has a 38-24 record the last three seasons. He was placed on the 40-man roster last winter.

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