Davis to return today at least to the roster Johnson says his use to be limited

Oriole Notebook

2 from Bowie due

September 08, 1997|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

NEW YORK -- Manager Davey Johnson said outfielder Eric Davis will be activated today and join the Orioles in Cleveland. But don't read too much into it.

"That doesn't mean we'll use him, just because he's activated," Johnson said.

Davis' return was delayed when he had to leave the team because of the death of his older brother in Los Angeles. He's also scheduled to resume his chemotherapy treatments in two days following his colon cancer surgery June 13.

The roster will undergo some other changes, as well. Johnson said two players will be called up from Double-A Bowie, which was eliminated from the Eastern League playoffs, and make the trip to Cleveland. Club sources indicated catcher Melvin Rosario and outfielder Dave Dellucci will be the additions.

Johnson also said there's a chance Roberto Alomar could play in the Cleveland series. Alomar hasn't appeared in a game since Aug. 26, when he reinjured a pulled groin muscle.

"I think Robbie's fairly close," Johnson said.

Too soon to tell

With consecutive day-night doubleheaders coming up against Cleveland next week at Camden Yards, Johnson said he hasn't began plotting how to set up the rotation for the divisional series.

"It doesn't do any good to plan. Certain guys could come up with little injuries," he said.

Johnson probably will have to look to Triple-A Rochester to find two starters for the doubleheaders. Shawn Boskie would have been a candidate, but his right elbow has some swelling that's likely related to the tendinitis that forced him on the disabled list Aug. 16.

"He says he's OK, but I wouldn't consider starting him," Johnson said.

"There's a little bit of swelling in there," said Boskie, who has given up seven earned runs over two innings since coming off the DL Sept. 1. "I don't know what it's from, but my arm feels pretty good. I'll just try to get through this and go day-to-day."

Nerio Rodriguez, who was brought up from Rochester on Thursday, is a strong possibility to start one of the doubleheader games. His only previous major-league start was last year against Toronto in the final regular-season game, when he allowed one earned run and three hits in six innings. A converted catcher, he went 11-10 with a 3.90 ERA in 27 starts at Rochester this year.

Rodriguez replaced Mike Mussina in the fourth inning yesterday and gave up a homer to the second batter he faced, Tim Raines. He retired five in a row before the Yankees scored five times in the sixth, three runs coming on a homer by Bernie Williams.

Julio Moreno was moved from Bowie to Rochester to pitch Saturday night's decisive playoff game and earned the win, going seven scoreless innings.

Tarasco back in swing

Tony Tarasco took batting practice yesterday for the first time since being hit on the right shin by a pitch from Florida's Kevin Brown on Tuesday.

"I shagged some balls in the outfield," he said. "It was a little sore, but nothing I can't handle. I told [Johnson] I could have played today. I'm ready if he needs me."

Around the horn

Jerome Walton's seventh-inning single produced his first RBI since April 20. When Kenny Rogers nabbed Jeffrey Hammonds in the first inning, it was the Yankees' AL-leading 30th pickoff. New York, which had four homers yesterday, had hit just three in going 1-9 in its past 10 games.

Hits and misses

On the field: Jeffrey Hammonds led off the game with the first of his four hits, then was picked off first by pitcher Kenny Rogers. Five days earlier, Hammonds was picked off second by Florida catcher Charles Johnson.

In the dugout: Manager Davey Johnson had both catchers in the lineup. Lenny Webster started behind the plate for the fourth time in five games, and Chris Hoiles served as the designated hitter.

In the clubhouse: "It's just a matter of relieving the pressure that you build on yourself. There is no such thing as eliminating pressure. It comes with the job. You just can't let it consume you." -- Yankees' Joe Torre

Pub Date: 9/08/97

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