Matthews is activated

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

catcher Casanova signs

Outfielder's role limited

Towers is outrighted

September 12, 2002|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

NEW YORK - Making two roster moves before last night's game at Yankee Stadium, the Orioles activated outfielder Gary Matthews from the disabled list and signed switch-hitting catcher Raul Casanova.

The Orioles also outrighted pitcher Josh Towers to Triple-A Rochester to create room for Casanova on the 40-man roster. Towers cleared waivers after going 0-9 at Rochester and 0-3 with the Orioles.

Matthews is restricted to pinch-running duties while his right wrist continues to heal. He took batting practice yesterday, but wasn't available to hit.

"It's coming back, but it's just a slow process," said Matthews, who hasn't played since Aug. 23. "It's a sensitive area."

Matthews is batting .276 with seven homers and 38 RBIs in 107 games. Before last night, the Orioles were 1-16 since he left the lineup.

Casanova, 30, began the season with the Milwaukee Brewers before going on the disabled list May 19 with a torn ligament in his left elbow. He batted .184 with one homer and eight RBIs in 31 games. The Orioles are his third major-league team.

"My elbow feels great. It's 100 percent, thank God," he said.

"Hopefully, I'll help their young staff. I'll try to play my best when they give me a chance. I'm always going to be ready."

Manager Mike Hargrove said having Casanova gives the team "protection" the last three weeks of the season.

The Orioles didn't have another catcher on their 40-man roster besides Geronimo Gil and Brook Fordyce.

Under the weather

Jerry Hairston and Pat Hentgen said they felt better yesterday after being bothered by flu-like symptoms on Tuesday.

Hairston returned to the lineup after sitting out Game 2 of Tuesday's doubleheader. He began to feel ill during Monday's train ride to New York, and almost didn't make it through Game 1.

"I was so weak I could barely move," he said. "I knew I was just hurting the team if I tried to play in the second game."

Hairston vomited twice after returning to his hotel and sweated for most of the night. He still wasn't at full strength upon arriving at Yankee Stadium yesterday.

Bedard has surgery

Top pitching prospect Erik Bedard underwent ligament-transplant surgery on Tuesday and is expected to miss most of the 2003 season. Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery in Birmingham, Ala.

Bedard spent most of the year at Double-A Bowie, going 6-3 with a 1.97 ERA in 13 starts. He also made two relief appearances with the Orioles, his debut coming at Yankee Stadium.

Hentgen, Bedard, Scott Erickson and Matt Riley have undergone "Tommy John" surgery since August 2000.

Erickson and Riley missed a full season, but Hentgen returned this month after having his procedure in August 2001.

Ponson solid in loss

If there was a silver lining for the Orioles on Tuesday, when the Yankees swept both games of a doubleheader, it was Sidney Ponson's performance in the second game.

In his second start since returning from the disabled list, after missing four weeks with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, Ponson pitched his second complete game of the season.

He fell to 0-6 for his career against the Yankees, but held them to two earned runs and threw just 99 pitches in eight innings.

"I'm pretty happy with the way I've been throwing since I came off the DL," Ponson said. "I'm just going to try to keep it going. I've got three starts left."

Sun staff writer Joe Christensen contributed to this article.

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