Haynes tries to put spring behind him Tonight's start is his first since 12-run Braves rout

Orioles Notebook

April 06, 1996|By Buster Olney | Buster Olney,SUN STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS -- Nine days have passed since Jimmy Haynes' last start in spring training, when the Atlanta Braves ripped him for 12 runs in six innings. Nine days to think about what he can do better.

Haynes, who has his first start of the year against the Minnesota Twins tonight, had two bullpen sessions, and he looked great, according to bullpen coach Pat Dobson. But then, he looked terrific throwing on the side all spring. Haynes then would take that good stuff into games, change what he was doing and get pounded.

"He's got to get everything over the plate," Dobson said. "He's got to pitch ahead of the hitter and be aggressive. He can't try to be too fine early in the count."

Haynes thinks his basic trouble was mechanical -- when pitching in games, he got into a habit of exaggerating his motion, turning his back to the hitters so far that the batters would see nothing but the numbers on the back of his jersey, a la Luis Tiant.

"That was causing me to swing open too far [when he delivered the ball]," Haynes said, "and the ball would go high and I'd be wild.

"Hopefully, all the stuff we've been working on in the bullpen will help me out."

Haynes doesn't necessarily need to win or even pitch well, but it could be he needs to show progress. The Orioles won't keep Haynes in the rotation for long if he's getting hit around, and they always have left-hander Rick Krivda -- who had a good spring training -- in Triple-A.

Hammonds: Not artificial

Whether or not the Orioles played on artificial surface often would determine whether Jeffrey Hammonds was in the lineup last year. This season it's a non-issue.

"No wet-nursing time now," Davey Johnson said before Hammonds went 2-for-3 last night. "It's time to go to the whip, and Jeffrey wouldn't have it any other way."

Malone grabs another Expo

The Orioles bought the contract of right-handed pitcher Esteban Yan from Montreal for $50,000. Yan, 21, was designated for assignment by the Expos last week. He originally broke into pro ball in the Atlanta organization, before Kevin Malone, as general manager of the Expos, acquired him as part of the Marquis Grissom trade last spring.

Malone is now with the Orioles, as an assistant general manager. "This guy is probably two years away," said Malone. "He's got a plus fastball [and] he doesn't walk a whole lot of guys."

Yan, pitching for Single-A West Palm Beach last summer, went 6-8 with a 3.07 ERA, pitching 137 2/3 innings and allowing 139 hits and 33 walks and striking out 89. He'll probably start the year in Double-A Bowie, said Malone.

So why would the Expos unload a young pitcher with a good fastball for $50,000? "I still can't figure it out," said Malone. "They must've thought he didn't have the aptitude to improve.

The Orioles have now acquired two players included in that Grissom deal, the other being right fielder Tony Tarasco.

Crowding into BP

There was a strong turnout for early batting practice at 2 p.m. yesterday, with Tarasco, Bobby Bonilla and Chris Hoiles among those who showed up for extra BP -- a far greater turnout than typically seen in 1995.

Hitting coach Rick Down said he didn't ask anyone to come out. "If they don't want to be here," Down said, "it's really a waste of their time and mine.

This is a great time to work on stuff, when you're on the road and you're not taking time away from your family."

Around the horn

Marty Cordova, Rookie of the Year in the AL last year, strained an abdominal muscle in a workout Thursday and was out of the starting lineup yesterday. He's listed as day-to-day. The Twins are already without veteran Kirby Puckett, who is out with blurred vision, a condition that potentially could keep him out for most or all of this season. . . . Right-hander Alan Mills threw off a mound yesterday, for the first time since getting a shot of cortisone in his right shoulder. He threw for about eight minutes, and said he felt fine. Mills could be back by early May. . . . Johnson said he wanted to hold out Armando Benitez the first three games because he had a little tenderness in his right forearm. . . . B. J. Surhoff went 2-for-4 and has a hit in all four of the Orioles' games this season.

Pub Date: 4/06/96

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