O's only add 3 as rosters expand Williams, Boskie bolster staff

Orioles Notebook

Walton joins outfield

September 02, 1997|By Joe Strauss | Joe Strauss,SUN STAFF

MIAMI -- Preferring to wait until the minor-league playoffs have run their course, the Orioles made minimal adjustments when rosters expanded yesterday, activating outfielder Jerome Walton and pitcher Shawn Boskie from the disabled list and promoting reliever Brian Williams from Triple-A Rochester.

However, the club delayed a much-anticipated move regarding Eric Davis when the right fielder returned to California because of a death in his family.

When Davis will return from the 60-day disabled list is uncertain, manager Davey Johnson said, but he may be absent until after this week's series in New York.

Pitchers Esteban Yan and Nerio Rodriguez are expected to join the team eventually. Indeed, the Orioles probably will require additional help when they return home for consecutive split doubleheaders against the Cleveland Indians on Sept. 15-16. Boskie, who relieved starter Scott Erickson last night, and Williams will inherit long-relief duty until then.

Williams was with the Orioles May 10 to June 15, appearing in six games. He surrendered two runs in 10 2/3 innings before being optioned just before acquiring five years of major-league service, which would have allowed him to veto a minor-league assignment.

Boskie, as effective in relief as he has been troubled within the rotation, stands to be an important pitcher the next two weeks. He was riding a 7 2/3 -inning scoreless stretch when he accepted a cortisone shot in his elbow and went on the disabled list Aug. 16.

Asked if 16 days of inactivity were a positive or negative at this juncture of the season, he said, "I'd rather this not have happened. I don't feel comfortable about it at all."

His fears were borne out as he was charged with three runs in one-third of an inning, allowing a walk and two hits before Jesse Orosco yielded a grand slam to Devon White.

Johnson shakes up lineup

With his team again fighting an offensive hangover, Johnson abruptly juggled his lineup, a move that has served him well in the past. Both Brady Anderson and B. J. Surhoff sat against Florida left-hander Tony Saunders, marking the first time since July 25 neither had been in the lineup.

Besides playing Walton for the first time since April 24, Johnson batted Jeffrey Hammonds second for just the 13th time this season. Catcher Lenny Webster batted sixth, the first time all year he has hit higher than seventh. Aaron Ledesma made his eighth start at second.

Alomar uncertain for N.Y.

A week has passed since second baseman Roberto Alomar came off the disabled list, experienced tightness in his previously strained right groin muscle, and disappeared from the lineup.

When he returns remains a mystery, Johnson said yesterday as a four-game showdown with the Yankees looms only two days away. "The report I got from the trainer yesterday was he's making a little progress but he's still tender," said Johnson.

Alomar attempted to run over the weekend but did not go 100 percent. The Orioles are nervous that another premature comeback might jeopardize Alomar's readiness for the playoffs.

Around the horn

Former Orioles manager Earl Weaver threw out the first pitch to commemorate the first regular-season meeting between the clubs. Weaver lives in the Miami area. There are four former Orioles on the Marlins' roster. Bobby Bonilla, Kevin Brown and Gregg Zaun were all part of the 1995 club, and Bonilla in '96. Pitcher Jay Powell, a first-round draft pick in 1993, is also technically an ex-Oriole.

Down for count

The Orioles' current skid is only the fourth time this season they have lost three or more consecutive games. A look:

L .. .. Dates .. .. Opponents

6 .. . 7/4-13 .. .. Det. (3), Mil. (3)

4 ... 6/26-29 .. .. Tor. (4)

3 ... 7/16-18 .. .. Bos. (2), Chi. (1)

3 .. 8/30-9/1 .. .. NYM (2), Fla. (1)

Pub Date: 9/02/97

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.