Erickson sits out day, as will Wells, Mussina Johnson adds some rest to four-man rotation


August 30, 1996|By Buster Olney | Buster Olney,SUN STAFF

SEATTLE -- Orioles right-hander Scott Erickson was scratched from his scheduled start last night, so he can rest his sore groin muscle for a few more days and so David Wells and Mike Mussina can rest their arms.

Jimmy Haynes, recalled from Triple-A Rochester Wednesday, started last night, and Erickson will start tomorrow (Rocky Coppinger starts tonight). By inserting Erickson into the rotation tomorrow, Orioles manager Davey Johnson will give Wells and Mussina -- who've been pitching on three days' rest for their last two starts -- an extra day of rest.

"[Mussina] said he was a little worn down," said pitching coach Pat Dobson. "This kind of works out perfectly. And this gives Scotty a chance to pitch in Anaheim [next Tuesday], where he's pitched really well."

JTC Johnson said: "I know Moose [Mussina] has been a little stiff. I've got to give him an extra day. We can't keep him on three days' rest."

Roster shuffle

The trade for Todd Zeile and Pete Incaviglia set off a chain reaction of roster moves that started yesterday and will continue today. To make room for Zeile and Incaviglia on the 40-man roster, the Orioles designated pitchers Keith Shepherd and Garrett Stephenson for assignment.

The Orioles will have 10 days to either pass Shepherd and Stephenson through waivers and outright them to Triple-A (Shepherd can refuse his assignment), trade or release them. It's more likely the Orioles will be able to outright Stephenson to Rochester.

Today, the Orioles will have to clear two spots on their 25-man major-league roster. They're likely to demote Haynes, who started last night, and outfielder Brent Bowers, who was called up a couple of weeks ago.

At-bats for Incaviglia?

Incaviglia will have a hard time finding at-bats as a part-time player, with Eddie Murray serving as the designated hitter and B. J. Surhoff likely playing every day in the outfield.

"We really don't have a guy who can come off the bench and scare anybody," Johnson said of Incaviglia's role.

In theory, the idea of Incaviglia coming off the bench is scary. In practice this season, he's struggled: Two hits in 26 at-bats and 15 strikeouts as a pinch hitter.

Surhoff adaptable

Surhoff will be asked to move to left field to make room for Zeile at third. It's a position Surhoff played briefly in July, when Cal Ripken moved to third and Manny Alexander played short for a week, and it's a position he played regularly for Milwaukee last year.

Surhoff said he'll adapt, whenever Johnson asks. "I'll approach it the same way I did in the past," Surhoff said. "If he puts me at third, I'll be at third."

Will the switch be difficult? "It'll be different," Surhoff said. "I've gotten pretty settled playing at third. I'm comfortable with third."

Last year with Milwaukee, Surhoff said he was "pretty comfortable" in the outfield. "I was doing it every day. I felt like I was adequate for the job."

Around the horn

Randy Myers on Zeile, who he played with in Chicago last season: "He's a quality player who can play multiple positions. He's a solid hitter, and any time you add a player like that it's a help." . . . Minnesota called and dangled third baseman Dave Hollins earlier in the week, but the Orioles weren't interested. The Twins traded Hollins to Seattle yesterday. He was in uniform last night . . . Zeile is married to former U.S. Olympic gymnast Julianne McNamara. . . . With Eddie Murray still two homers shy of 500 as the Orioles start their road trip, the Mariners and Angels are each preparing possible salutes in case Murray may reach the milestone in their parks.

Pub Date: 8/30/96

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