O's close to bringing back catcher Parent Erickson bothered by slight groin strain


August 27, 1996|By Buster Olney and Jason LaCanfora | Buster Olney and Jason LaCanfora,SUN STAFF

The Orioles are poised to sign free-agent catcher Mark Parent, according to two league sources.

Parent was placed on waivers by the Detroit Tigers last week and cleared waivers yesterday. Parent, 34, played in Baltimore in 1992 and 1993 and would provide the Orioles with some much needed insurance behind the plate.

Starter Chris Hoiles caught his ninth straight game last night and backup Cesar Devarez still is nursing flu symptoms, although he said he feels better and his fever has gone down.

"I wouldn't mind having an experienced third catcher in case something happens," manager Davey Johnson said. "If [Parent] became available, I'd have interest in him. . . . I read in the papers [what was written about Parent being a good fit for the Orioles], and I agreed with it."

Erickson hurting a bit

Pitcher Scott Erickson is suffering from a strained groin muscle he injured in his start Sunday. "He never goes in the training room," said pitching coach Pat Dobson, "but he went in there for treatment, so you know he's hurting."

Erickson is scheduled to pitch Thursday, in the first game of the Seattle series. "I think he'll be all right for that," Dobson said.

Youthful possibilities

More and more players taken in the June draft are applying for free agency, based on the fact that the team that selected them didn't tender them a contract offer within the required 15 days. First baseman Travis Lee (second pick overall, taken by Minnesota), right-handed pitcher John Patterson (fifth pick overall, by Montreal) and pitcher Bobby Seay (12th overall, by the White Sox) reportedly have applied for free agency. Others to come could include pitcher Eric Milton from the University of Maryland (New York Yankees, first round), pitcher Brandon Looper (third pick overall, taken by St. Louis) and catcher A. J. Hinch (taken by Oakland in the third round).

The Orioles could be among those teams that place bids but club officials can't comment.

Murray memories

Jeff Torborg, Eddie Murray's manager with the New York Mets from 1992 to 1993, said he is most impressed by the slugger's longevity and desire to play everyday.

As Murray takes aim on 500 career homers and driving in 75 or more runs for a major-league-record 20th consecutive season, Torborg said he often thinks back to Murray's tenure with the Mets.

"It's a funny thing," Torborg said. "I had a little plan in mind to rest him occasionally on Sundays, but the first Sunday he said he came over here to play, not to sit around. I told him my plan and he said he knew himself better than anybody else. And he was right. He was our only position player not to get hurt that year."

Benitez activated

The Orioles activated reliever Armando Benitez from the disabled list and sent Esteban Yan to Triple-A Rochester.

"I'm excited to have Armando back," Johnson said of the young right-hander, who before last night had not thrown for the Orioles since April, when his elbow problems began. "We need to get him in a groove up here so he'll have something to build on for next year. I thought we were well on our way to establishing him as a premier setup, closer-type guy [before his injury]."

Benitez was brought in to face Mark McGwire with two outs in the ninth inning last night and struck out the Oakland slugger. He gave up a leadoff walk (which came around to score) before being lifted in the 10th.

Tarasco holds playoff hopes

Rehabilitating outfielder Tony Tarasco worked out with the Orioles yesterday during a day off for Single-A Frederick, where he is currently playing.

Tarasco was sent to Rochester on May 11 and had shoulder surgery in June, but he said he believes he could pinch hit and pinch run for the Orioles right now.

Tarasco is likely to spend three more days with Frederick and then go to Double-A Bowie. Tarasco was told by doctors at first he would not be able to bat or throw until January but now is excited by the prospect of playing for the Orioles in the postseason.

"I'm not ready to throw in a game situation yet, but I'm hitting and running well," Tarasco said. "We'll see what happens."

Better spring coming?

The Orioles' spring training schedule for 1997 hasn't been completed, but vice chairman of finance Joe Foss said that from what he has seen, it will be vastly improved over the club's schedule in 1996, which had them traveling repeatedly from one side of Florida to the other.

"We're trying to see if we can get more AL clubs," Foss said, "so we can use the designated hitter more and get more at-bats."

It's a boy for Millses

Reliever Alan Mills and his wife, Shareese, had their first child yesterday. Shareese gave birth to Tyson, a 9-pound, 8-ounce boy.

Pub Date: 8/27/96

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