O's hope Coppinger can start Friday Pitcher to be evaluated after throwing today

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

September 17, 1996|By Jason LaCanfora | Jason LaCanfora,SUN STAFF

Rocky Coppinger, who told reporters his arm was bothering him after his start Sunday, still is scheduled to start for the Orioles on Friday.

The Orioles will evaluate Coppinger again after he throws in the bullpen today, but Coppinger told pitching coach Pat Dobson he'll be ready to go later this week.

"He says he's all right to pitch," Dobson said. "He only threw 70 pitches his last start. Maybe with more rest he'll bounce back Friday and be all right."

Dobson said Coppinger is scheduled to make his last regular-season start next Wednesday or Thursday. However, if he can't pitch Friday against Toronto, Rick Krivda, the scheduled starter in yesterday's rainout, would replace Coppinger.

Krivda is scheduled to pitch Saturday for now, but if he pitches Friday, then Archie Corbin and Nerio Rodriguez would be candidates to pitch Saturday. Mike Mussina, Scott Erickson and David Wells then would start Sunday through Tuesday.

Manager Davey Johnson said Coppinger's problem is in his forearm.

"We'll see how he feels when he throws [today]," Johnson said. "Possibly he could be fine for his next start."

Dobson said one of the Orioles' concerns with Coppinger is the number of innings he's pitched this season. Coppinger had thrown just 253 1/3 innings in his pro career before this season, including 187 innings last year. Between Rochester and the majors, Coppinger has thrown 182 2/3 innings this season.

"There's more of an impact on his arm pitching 100 innings here than it is pitching 100 innings in the minors," Dobson said.

Rainout ticket update

The Orioles will make up yesterday's rained-out game with the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday at 1: 05 p.m.

All fans holding tickets to yesterday's game or to the Aug. 12 game between the Orioles and Brewers must use their tickets on Monday. Fans living outside a 75-mile radius of Camden Yards have the option of receiving a face-value refund.

Fans wishing to receive a refund should mail their unused tickets to the Orioles Box Office, 33 W. Camden St., Baltimore, Md. 21201.

Rhodes back in Florida

Reliever Arthur Rhodes returned home to Florida yesterday to begin resting his arm and getting ready for spring training next year.

The Orioles did not expect Rhodes to return this year anyway, but that was finalized when he got a cortisone shot, which will keep Rhodes from throwing for at least another month.

"I'm just going to go home and get more treatment," Rhodes said while cleaning out his locker yesterday. "I've got to rest it. I've just got to get it stronger. I'm shooting for spring training. I've got to get it right. I've got to get it better."

Hammonds unlikely

Johnson said it's unlikely Jeffrey Hammonds will play for the Orioles again this year and Tony Tarasco will see a limited role, if any.

Hammonds has been on the disabled list since injuring his knee in the outfield grass in Oakland. Tarasco had shoulder surgery in May and worked his way through a lengthy rehabilitation program to warrant a September promotion.

The Orioles will be testing Tarasco's arm this week by hitting balls to him and letting him throw to bases, but Johnson said he perhaps foresees Tarasco pinch running, but not much more than that.

"I don't see guys that have been out a month stepping in and driving in the winning run or anything like that," Johnson said.

"I don't see us changing much format from what we've been doing the last six weeks. I doubt it very seriously [if Hammonds plays this year]."

Around the horn

General manager Pat Gillick said the Orioles will not make a trade for a starter to help them get through the stretch run. "That's not a consideration," Gillick said. Cal Ripken has hit into seven double plays in his last 13 games and 27 for the year. The American League record is 36 set by Jim Rice in 1984. Don Zimmer, the New York Yankees' bench coach, was the Boston Red Sox manager in 1978, the year the Red Sox fell apart in September, then lost a one-game playoff to the Yankees. The Red Sox could contribute to a Yankees' collapse this year. They have eight games remaining against each other.

Seeds of doubt in Big Apple

A brief sample of what they're saying in New York about the Yankees:

Newspaper: New York Post

Headline: Passive Yanks caught looking

Writer: Jim Salisbury

Mood: Sarcastic

Text: "The roof was open at SkyDome yesterday and a nice breeze filled the place. It must have been coming off Lake Ontario because it certainly wasn't coming from the Yankees' lazy bats.

"Yankee hitters struck out 11 times in a 3-1 loss to the Blue Jays. Seven of those punchouts were the result of called third strikes as the Yanks were absolutely confounded by Blue Jays starter Woody Williams and closer Mike Timlin.

"The loss was the Yanks' first after five wins of this road trip, which ends [last night] with Jimmy Key facing his former team. Getting a good start from Key is imperative. The Yankees cannot afford to go home for the Series of the Season against the rampaging Orioles without some momentum."

Down the stretch

Date ...... O's ...... Yanks ...... W. Sox

9/17 ...... N.Y. ..... O's ........ Cle.

9/18 ...... N.Y. ..... O's ........ Cle.

9/19 ...... N.Y. ..... O's ........ Minn.

9/20 ...... Tor. ..... Bos. ....... Minn.

9/21 ...... Tor. ..... Bos. ....... Minn.

9/22 ...... Tor. ..... Bos. (2) ... Minn.

9/23 ...... Mil.

9/24 ...... Bos. ..... Milw. ...... K.C.

9/25 ...... Bos. ..... Milw. ...... K.C.

9/26 ...... Tor. ..... Bos.

9/27 ...... Tor. ..... Bos. ....... Minn.

9/28 ...... Tor. ..... Bos. ....... Minn.

9/29 ...... Tor. ..... Bos. ....... Minn.

Home games in bold

Pub Date: 9/17/96

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