Frohwirth agrees to minor-league contract McDowell's arm stiffness is concern to Johnson

Orioles Notebook

June 06, 1996|By Jason LaCanfora | Jason LaCanfora,SUN STAFF

Manager Davey Johnson reiterated the Orioles' need for another right-handed reliever yesterday, and one option might be Todd Frohwirth, who has agreed to terms on a minor-league contract.

"We're still going to have to beef up the right side of the pen," Johnson said. "I'd probably like to add somebody."

Frohwirth, who pitched with the Orioles from 1991 to '93, declined a Triple-A assignment from the California Angels last week and became a free agent. He was assigned to Triple-A Rochester yesterday.

"We need somebody like [Frohwirth]," director of player development Syd Thrift said. "A guy like that is necessary when you have young pitchers. You need veterans in the middle and to set up. Plus, he could come [to Baltimore]."

The timing for Frohwirth couldn't be better. Roger McDowell, the Orioles' most effective and most heavily used right-handed reliever, is experiencing stiffness in his pitching arm.

"I'm concerned about him [being overused]," Johnson said. "I don't think I've abused him. When he's pitched a couple of innings, I let him have two days off. He has stiffness. I hope it's just normal stiffness."

The Orioles also recently signed Milt Hill, who pitched with Cincinnati and Seattle, and assigned him to Double-A Bowie. Rochester pitcher Rocky Coppinger could be another option for the Orioles. Coppinger pitched seven innings for the Red Wings on Tuesday, allowing two runs on five hits.

Another possibility is to move Rick Krivda into the starting rotation and put right-hander Jimmy Haynes in the bullpen.

Oklahoma's Minor picked

The Orioles took a chance on University of Oklahoma basketball standout Ryan Minor in the 33rd round of the free-agent draft yesterday.

Minor, a first baseman, was a standout basketball and baseball player for the Sooners, but he is expected to go high in the NBA draft this summer, scaring off many baseball teams.

The Orioles also selected a few locals. Hagerstown Community College catcher Jaime Escalante went in the 36th round and Mike Kirkpatrick, a center fielder from Wilmington, Del., was taken in the 42nd round.

Mussina seeks answers

Mike Mussina has to be the unhappiest 8-2 pitcher in baseball.

Mussina is 5-0 in his past seven starts, including his 10-7 triumph Tuesday night, but his ERA is 5.67 over that span. His lifetime ERA was 3.19 entering this season.

The wins have more to do with the Orioles' offense than Mussina's pitching. The club has scored 51 runs in those seven starts.

Mussina said he can't pinpoint what's wrong, but he's working hard to figure it out.

"It hasn't fallen into place for me in a long time," Mussina said. "It's to the point where I'm going to have to go to videotape. I haven't really sat down to talk to too many people about it yet, but I'm going to. If it hasn't fallen into place after 13 starts, then it's time to put in more time and study what I have to do."

Alomar puts in OT at second

Roberto Alomar went to work early last night, and he might continue to do so.

Four hours before game time Alomar, one of the best infielders in the game, was taking ground balls at second base, working on his pivot and alignment to second base.

Alomar said he is trying to position his throws on a straight line to second in double-play situations. Call it fine-tuning.

"Sometimes it's just good to work on the double play," Alomar said. "Maybe I'll do it three times a week. I've done it in the past. I used to do it when my dad was coaching me [in San Diego]. It keeps you improving. I want to stay right."

Aches at the hot corner

A pair of third basemen are still on the mend for the Orioles.

Last night's starter, Bill Ripken, is nursing a bad back, but it didn't seem to bother him. He went 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored.

B. J. Surhoff has not played the field since coming off the disabled list Sunday.

"Billy's back is a little bit sore, but he feels like he can go," Johnson said. "I don't know how much better Surhoff's ankle is [since coming off the DL]."

Ravens give display

On Tuesday night the Ravens unveiled their new logo with a fireworks display behind left-center field at Camden Yards with just minutes remaining in the Orioles' game with the Tigers. But Orioles owner Peter Angelos didn't mind the display.

"They wanted to gain attention from the sports fans in Baltimore, let them know they're here. I can't blame them for that."

Around the horn

Bobby Bonilla is batting .217 (26-for-120) as a DH and .313 (21-for-67) when playing the field. . . . Rochester right-hander Brian Sackinsky has decided to try rest and rehabilitation to treat his sore right elbow, but some in the organization think that he eventually will have reconstructive surgery. . . . Right-hander Archie Corbin, designated for assignment Sunday, cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Rochester.

Pub Date: 6/06/96

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