Bones steps up, back to take Guzman's spot


First start since '97 comes as Kamieniecki asks to stay in 'pen

vet Corsi recalled

August 02, 1999|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

SEATTLE -- Rather than summon 20-year-old birthday boy Matt Riley to the majors to fill an opening in the rotation, the Orioles will look to their bullpen and hand tomorrow's assignment in Oakland to right-hander Ricky Bones.

This will be Bones' first start as an Oriole since signing as a free agent in December. He's 0-2 with a 5.86 ERA as a reliever.

Bones will be appearing in only his third game since coming off the disabled list on July 17. He had been out for two weeks with a tired arm.

Manager Ray Miller also had spoken to Scott Kamieniecki about returning to a starter's role in place of Juan Guzman, who was traded to the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday. But Kamieniecki preferred to stay in the bullpen, where he has had more success, and Miller wasn't pushing to disrupt him. Left-hander Doug Johns was another option, but Miller chose a pitcher who had been a starter for most of his first five professional seasons in Milwaukee.

Bones started 11 games with the Kansas City Royals in 1997, but made all 32 of his '98 appearances in relief.

"As long as I'm healthy and they need me to start or they need me in the bullpen, I will do it," he said. "I've been comfortable in the bullpen, but starting is how I broke into the big leagues. I look forward to Tuesday and will see how deep I can get into the game."

Miller said he would be satisfied with getting five or six innings from Bones, who has thrown 35 1/3 over his 26 appearances. He probably will start Bones again on Sunday against the Detroit Tigers at Camden Yards, though discussions continue within the front office about promoting Riley from Double-A.

"We'll see where we are after [Sunday]," Miller said. "Right now, he's fresh and he needs to pitch. And he's been a starter before."

"I guess this is the way to go right now," Bones said. "Kammy's been the hottest guy in the bullpen and D. J.'s doing an excellent job in the middle role. I guess I'm the man."

Corsi, 37, called up

Guzman's place on the roster will be taken by reliever Jim Corsi, who had been signed off waivers from the Boston Red Sox on July 2 and assigned to Triple-A Rochester. Corsi, 37, will join the club in Oakland today and work mostly in middle relief.

"We've had good reports on him every day," Miller said. "His velocity's 87, 88 [mph], but he has tremendous sink. He's keeping the ball down, and he's certainly experienced."

Corsi made 23 relief appearances with the Red Sox this season, compiling a 5.25 ERA in 24 innings and walking 19 against 14 strikeouts. Last season, he was 3-2 with a 2.59 ERA in 59 games.

Corsi allowed four runs in 10 1/3 innings at Rochester with two saves.

Ryan to Rochester, for now

One of the young pitchers acquired for Guzman, 6-foot-6 left-hander B. J. Ryan, will report to Rochester "and get his feet on the ground," Miller said. Ryan, 23, soon could join the Orioles, depending in part if there's further trade activity.

With the trade deadline having passed, players will have to clear waivers before being dealt.

Ryan was 2-1 with six saves and a 2.59 ERA at Double-A Chattanooga, and 1-0 with a 4.00 ERA in 11 appearances at Triple-A Indianapolis. He entered one game with the Reds, allowing one run and four hits in two innings against Los Angeles. General manager Frank Wren attended that game and was impressed with Ryan's stuff.

The Orioles also received 17-year-old pitcher Jacobo Sequea of Venezuela, who had been rated Cincinnati's 10th-best prospect by Baseball America. He was the youngest player in professional baseball last season. Sequea was 4-6 with a 4.92 ERA and two complete games at Single-A Rockford. He turns 18 on Aug. 31.

"He's a four-pitch pitcher with a good arm," Miller said. "That's what you need to do. You need to stockpile your organization with young pitching."

Guzman is scheduled to start Thursday for his new team. The Reds picked him up just as the Orioles did last season, right before the trade deadline passed.

"Juan Guzman in '97 would have been a great acquisition for us," Miller said, "but we went wire-to-wire without a fifth starter. I think asking Juan to be a No. 3 right now, I don't think he's pitching that well to be honest. But on a good club as a fourth or a fifth, he can be pretty valuable."

Rhodes happy to stay

All the trade activity on Saturday didn't claim left-hander Arthur Rhodes. He was pursued by a number of clubs, including the New York Yankees, who wouldn't part with prized minor-league shortstop D'Angelo Jimenez.

Rhodes said he went through his normal routine rather than wait for a call that never came. He also stated a preference to sign a long-term contract with the Orioles rather than test the free-agent waters after this season.

"I'm relieved now that I don't have all that stuff to think about," said Rhodes, who will be harder to trade now that he must pass through waivers. Not many hard-throwing left-handers go unclaimed.

"I'm not worrying about that now. My mind is clear and I'm ready to start throwing the ball again. You go home, you watch TV and you hear you're getting traded. It's like, `Well, what should I do now? Keep listening to the TV or wait until the next day and see if you get traded?' It's always on your mind, but when you're on the field, you can't have it on your mind."

As for remaining an Oriole, he said: "I want to stay in Baltimore and finish my career in Baltimore. If they had traded me, I would have went, but I'd rather stay here and try to get a [World Series] ring next year."

Around the horn

It was the Mariners' first-ever three-game sweep of the Orioles in Seattle. Jose Mesa got his third save of the series.

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