Baseball 1999 : Orioles Profiles

April 04, 1999

Ricky Bones -- #25 -- P

Age: 29. Height: 6-0. Weight: 202.

Bats: Right. Throws: Right.

Contract status: Signed through 1999.

Role: Right-handed long relief and spot starter.

Career year: 1994 with Milwaukee, 10-9, 3.43 ERA, four complete games, one shutout.

What's up in '99: He can do so much, which is his appeal. For now, Bones will be used in long and middle relief. But he also can be a spot starter. He's an innings eater in the bullpen, which this club lacked for much of last season.

By the numbers: Made 32 relief appearances for Royals last season. Got first career save with four shutout innings June 19 in Detroit.

X-factor: How will his versatility translate? He could be in the rotation or a right-handed bridge.

Scott Erickson -- # 19 -- P

Age: 31. Height: 6-4. Weight: 230.

Bats: Right. Throws: Right.

Contract status: Signed through 2003.

Role: No. 2 starter.

Career year: 1991 with Minnesota, 20-8, 3.18 ERA, five complete games, three shutouts, runner-up in Cy Young voting.

What's up in '99: Probably the number of innings he pitches this season. Again, he'll be expected to gobble them up and give the bullpen a chance to catch its breath.

By the numbers: Has won 16 games each of the last two seasons. Led AL in starts (36), innings (251.1), complete games (11), batters faced (1,102), pitches thrown (3,902), hits allowed (284).

X-factor: Is the defense strong enough to support a ground-ball pitcher such as Erickson?

Mike Fetters -- # 37 -- P

Age: 34. Height: 6-4. Weight: 225.

Bats: Right. Throws: Right.

Contract status: Signed through 1999.

Role: Right-handed middle relief; setup.

Career year: 1996 with Milwaukee, 3-3, 3.38 ERA, 32 saves, 61 games, 61 1/3 innings.

What's up in '99: Fetters can be used in a variety of ways if his body allows. Manager Ray Miller has noted how Fetters seems to wear down from overuse, and he'll be careful to avoid that problem.

By the numbers: His 60 appearances were one shy of his career high set in 1996. His longest outing was 3 1/3 innings on Aug. 4 against the Yankees.

X-factor: If he's healthy, can he resemble the guy who was so effective for Milwaukee?

Juan Guzman -- #57 -- P

Age: 32. Height: 5-11. Weight: 195.

Bats: Right. Throws: Right.

Contract status: Signed through 1999.

Role: No. 3 starter

Career year: 1992 with Toronto, 16-5, 2.64 ERA, 165 strikeouts.

What's up in '99: The club hopes he shows the form that allowed him to win the AL ERA title in 1996. With uncertainty in the last two spots in the rotation, Guzman is a crucial element to the team's success.

By the numbers: Was 4-4 with 4.23 ERA in 11 starts with Orioles. Tied career high with 33 starts; surpassed 200 innings for second time. Allowed AL-worst 31 stolen bases.

X-factor: Doesn't do enough to help himself, like fielding his position and holding runners.

Doug Johns -- #55 -- P

Age: 31. Height: 6-2. Weight: 195.

Bats: Right. Throws: Left.

Contract status: Signed through 1999.

Role: Left-handed long relief and spot starter.

Career year: 1996 with Oakland, 6-12, 5.98 ERA, 23 starts in 40 appearances, 158 innings.

What's up in '99: Johns will be on call to bail out the starters if they get rocked early. He is one of several relievers who could go long, a luxury the Orioles lacked last spring.

By the numbers: Made two starts in Rochester before Orioles called him up April 20. Was 2-2 with 4.32 ERA as starter, and 1-1 with one save and 4.91 ERA in relief.

X-factor: Will he be able to maintain consistency in a regular role, rather than bouncing between the bullpen and rotation?

Scott Kamieniecki -- #30 -- P

Age: 34. Height: 6-0. Weight: 200.

Bats: Right. Throws: Right.

Contract status: Has an option for 2000.

Role: No. 4 starter.

Career year: 1997, 10-6, 4.01 ERA, 30 starts, 179 1/3 innings.

What's up in '99: If healthy, he can reclaim the job as fourth starter after injuries ruined his '98 season. Manager Ray Miller gladly would take the 30 starts Kamieniecki made in 1997.

By the numbers: Was 2-0 with 3.00 ERA after three starts, but allowed six earned runs in one-third of an inning April 24 vs. Oakland. Made three starts between first two stops on disabled list.

X-factor: Can he stay healthy and give the club something close to the 179 1/3 innings he pitched in '97?

Doug Linton -- #49 -- P

Age: 34. Height: 6-1. Weight: 190.

Bats: Right. Throws: Right.

Contract status: Signed through 1999.

Role: Right-handed long/middle relief and spot starter.

Career year: 1996 with Kansas City, 7-9, 5.02 ERA, 18 starts.

What's up in '99: Linton is another reliever who could start if holes open in the rotation. He has made a fast recovery from "Tommy John" surgery and is not to be confused with the retreads who passed through here last season.

By the numbers: Led Puerto Rican Winter League with 56 strikeouts. Doesn't have career ERA lower than 4.67 for any month.

X-factor: Will his comfort level with pitching coach Bruce Kison, who worked with him in Kansas City, again bring out his best?

Mike Mussina -- #35 -- P

Age: 30. Height: 6-2. Weight: 185.

Bats: Both. Throws: Right.

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