Set `to roll,' Johnson can only wait a day

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Rainout recap is all wet

Cordova's return on track

Notebook

April 10, 2002|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Surrounded by reporters after last night's postponement, Orioles pitcher Jason Johnson gave a mock assessment of the start that didn't take place.

"My arm felt really good," he said, suppressing a grin. "I had a good forkball, which I liked a lot. And my fastball was around 97, 98 mph."

And the run support? In Johnson's world, the Orioles crossed the plate 10 times. Maybe it was 12.

He'd probably settle for half that amount tonight. Johnson and the other starters have been pushed back one day, with Josh Towers opening the four-game series in Chicago on Friday afternoon rather than facing Tampa Bay tomorrow.

"That's the way it goes. I can't control the weather," Johnson said.

"I was excited to go out there tonight. I was ready to roll, but I'll be just as excited tomorrow."

Johnson is seeking his first victory after losing a 1-0 decision to New York's David Wells last Wednesday.

Last night's game has been rescheduled for Aug. 22, eliminating an open date.

Cordova rained out, too

Manager Mike Hargrove anticipates having Marty Cordova on the 25-man roster Friday when the veteran outfielder is eligible to come off the disabled list.

Cordova was supposed to test the quadriceps muscle in his right leg yesterday by running the bases, but the tarp never came off the field. He did some treadmill work instead and "came through it real well," Hargrove said.

"Obviously we still want to give it a full test before we commit to him coming off [the DL], but right now I don't see anything that would keep him from coming off."

A left-hand turn?

The Orioles are scheduled to face Tampa Bay left-hander Joe Kennedy tomorrow night, and Hargrove might use the opportunity to alter his lineup, perhaps giving switch-hitter Gary Matthews Jr. his first start.

Hargrove wouldn't reveal his intentions yesterday when asked about the possibility of making some changes, but it appeared that he was leaning toward dipping into his bench.

"We'll see. There's a chance, a very good chance," he said.

Catcher Brook Fordyce is the only reserve to start through the first six games.

Moriarty patiently waits

Mike Moriarty knows if he had returned to the minors, he would be in the lineup for every game. Why bother checking the card?

There's probably no reason to check it now, either, but for different reasons. Moriarty is the Orioles' utility infielder, a 28-year-old rookie whose first appearance in a major-league game remains on hold indefinitely.

It's a situation he can live with.

"I'd definitely rather be here," he said.

Moriarty beat out Brian Roberts for the utility job, with the Orioles not wanting the former supplemental draft pick to grow stale on the bench. Roberts is playing every day at Triple-A Rochester.

Moriarty, meanwhile, is seeking advice on how to stay prepared. He's already sought out hitting coach Terry Crowley and Fordyce, who now serves as the backup to Geronimo Gil.

"The last thing I want to do if they put me in there to pinch run for somebody is pull a hamstring or something stupid like that," he said.

"It's a little bit of an adjustment for me, but I realize I'm a rookie and I'm not going to play all the time. Sure, I'd like to get in there, but I understand that Grover is going to use me when he needs me. That's my job, utility infielder. This is what I expected."

Ticket policy

Fans holding tickets from last night's rainout are urged to use them for the Aug. 22 make-up date.

However, they may exchange their tickets for the following games, subject to availability: Sunday, June 2 vs. Seattle Mariners 1:35; Monday, June 10 vs. San Diego Padres 7:05; Tuesday, Aug. 6 vs. Minnesota Twins 7:05; Wednesday, Sept. 4 vs. Texas Rangers 7:05; Thursday, Sept. 19 vs. Toronto Blue Jays 7:05.

Fans residing outside a 75-mile radius of Camden Yards may request a refund in writing sent along with the original tickets and mailed via certified mail to: Baltimore Orioles Attention: April 9 Rainout 333 W. Camden St. Baltimore, Md. 21201

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