Segui DH as opening lineup is shaping up

Orioles notebook

Conine to start at first, lefty Bale likely in bullpen

is Garabito on the way?

March 29, 2002|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

VIERA, Fla. - When the Orioles break from their dugout on Opening Day, Jeff Conine will head toward first base while Jay Gibbons hangs a right before reaching the outfield. David Segui will remain in the dugout as the designated hitter, part of Monday's lineup that manager Mike Hargrove will post at Camden Yards.

Hargrove still wouldn't reveal his starting catcher yesterday, but the rest of the alignment came into focus. He also indicated that John Bale will make the 25-man roster as a third left-handed reliever if no longer restricted by elbow stiffness. Bale faced three batters on Wednesday.

"As far as I know, he came out of it all right," Hargrove said.

The seven-man bullpen apparently will include right-handers Willis Roberts, Jorge Julio, Rodrigo Lopez and Chris Brock. Buddy Groom and B.J. Ryan will join Bale on the left side. It's still possible the Orioles could snatch someone off the waiver wire.

As expected, Marty Cordova and Chris Singleton will comprise two-thirds of the outfield after coming to the Orioles this winter. Cordova signed a three-year, $9.1 million contract in November, and Singleton was acquired from the Chicago White Sox two months later for minor-leaguer Willie Harris.

Singleton finally returned from a strained Achilles' tendon yesterday, starting in center field and going 0-for-2 with two walks and a stolen base. He missed almost two weeks with the injury.

Better late than never

The Orioles have heard this one before, but it appears infielder Eddy Garabito will arrive in Florida later this week.

Syd Thrift, vice president for baseball operations, said Garabito has solved his visa problems in the Dominican Republic and soon will report to the minor-league camp in Sarasota, Fla.

"He's been working out, playing baseball, all that stuff. He's ready to play," Thrift said.

Garabito would have challenged for a utility job with the Orioles, but never made it to the major-league camp after failing to produce a birth certificate.

"It's a shame. He had a chance to make the team," Thrift said.

Bedard grateful for ride

Completing the Florida portion of their Grapefruit League schedule, the Orioles left for Atlanta yesterday with plans to move ahead to Louisville, Ky., for tomorrow's final exhibition game. Left-hander Erik Bedard won't accompany them, having been optioned to Double-A Bowie, but he's grateful for the extended stay.

"I thought I'd be the first cut," he said.

Bedard figured that he would get a courtesy look after pitching at Single-A Frederick last year.

"This is good. They're letting me get experience, I guess," he said. "Pitching against big-league hitters has been fun. This gave me confidence because I did good, and I think I can improve on that."

Bedard didn't have as much fun yesterday, lasting one inning in his start against the Florida Marlins. He gave up four runs, three coming on a homer by Derrek Lee.

It is not inconceivable that Bedard, one of the organization's top prospects, will land in Baltimore later in the summer.

"I hope so," he said. "It would be a great experience to go up there and show what I've got, even if it's a September call-up. I wouldn't mind that."

Next in line

Jason Johnson will oppose Kevin Millwood in tonight's game in Atlanta. Sidney Ponson faces Cincinnati's Jimmy Haynes, a former Oriole, tomorrow in Louisville.

O's opener

Opponent: New York Yankees

Site: Camden Yards

When: Monday, 3:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: Ch. 13/WBAL (1090 AM)

Gates open: Noon

Pre-game ceremonies: 2:30 p.m.

Coming Sunday in The Sun Baseball 2002: A special section previews the 2002 season, including an in-depth look at the Orioles, team-by-team outlooks and more.

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