Bats run Douglass out of O's camp all the way to Ottawa

Orioles notebook

Six runs by Reds seal Triple-A fate

MLB panel approves Bechler benefit

March 12, 2003|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- One day after being hit hard in his third spring training appearance, Orioles pitcher Sean Douglass was knocked clear out of camp.

The Orioles included Douglass among their 10 cuts yesterday, ending a disappointing stay at the major-league complex. His fate might have been sealed on Monday when he allowed six runs, three earned, in two innings of a 7-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds in Sarasota, Fla.

"When Sean came into camp, we looked at him as a legitimate candidate to make the club in the rotation," manager Mike Hargrove said yesterday. "As we've gone along, we've watched [Pat] Hentgen and [Rick] Helling and these guys pitch, and we decided the best thing we can do for Sean and this ballclub is get him innings. Very rarely do you make it through a season with all five starters making 35 starts. ... Sean Douglass is a guy that we're going to need."

Douglass, who had a 7.50 ERA in six spring innings, and outfielder Darnell McDonald, the organization's minor-league Player of the Year in 2002, were optioned to Triple-A Ottawa. Pitchers Mike Paradis and Matt Riley, shortstop Ed Rogers and catcher Eli Whiteside were optioned to Double-A Bowie, and pitcher Daniel Cabrera was optioned to Single-A Delmarva.

Pitcher Rigo Beltran and infielder Brian Rios were outrighted to Ottawa, and outfielder Tim Raines Jr. was outrighted to Bowie.

Douglass will join the Lynx's rotation while attempting to return to the majors, where he went 0-5 with a 6.08 ERA in 15 appearances last season, including eight starts.

"Anytime you're sent down, you're disappointed, but I was throwing like crap," said Douglass, a second-round draft pick in 1997. "If you throw good and they send you down, you're a little frustrated, but when you throw bad, what are you going to do?"

Douglass blamed his problems on the usual spring training inconsistencies. "I've had some good things and some bad things," he said.

"It's not going to change the way I go about things. I'm going to go down and work hard, see what I need to do."

"Sean's still a young man," Hargrove said, "and he's still one of our top prospects. We're looking at some point in time for him to be a regular in our rotation. Now's just not his time."

The cuts left the Orioles with 48 players, including outfielder Raymond Cabrera, who is duplicating Eddy Garabito's feat last year of never making it out of the Dominican Republic because of visa problems.

Bechler payment approved

Major League Baseball's pension and benefit committee voted unanimously yesterday to confirm a $450,000 life insurance benefit to the wife of late Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler.

There was some question whether Bechler qualified for the full insurance benefit because he had spent only 27 days in the major leagues, but there was complete agreement on the committee that Kiley Bechler should get the full payment.

The committee represents both management and the Major League Baseball Players Association, who meet on a quarterly basis to oversee the game's benefits program.

Orioles vice chairman Joe Foss, Major League Baseball executive vice president of labor relations Rob Manfred and Philadelphia Phillies senior vice president Jerry Clothier represented management at the meeting in Orlando, Fla. Union chief Donald Fehr also attended along with union associate general counsel Michael Weiner, union representative Steve Rogers and former major-leaguer Jim Poole.

Hale's surgery today

Orioles pitching prospect Beau Hale will have arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder today in Houston.

Hale was shut down at the minor-league complex in Sarasota, Fla., because of continuing pain in the shoulder. Team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Charles Silberstein examined him after Hale underwent a second magnetic resonance imaging test.

It's believed that Hale, chosen 14th overall in the 2000 draft, has a torn glenoid labrum and won't pitch this season.

Hale was 8-8 in 22 starts at Single-A Frederick last season, but the Orioles shut him down after two appearances at Double-A Bowie. He missed the entire month of June in 2001 and didn't pitch after Aug. 8 because of shoulder pain.

"We were rehabbing him in the offseason, taking conservative methods first and seeing if we could get him back without surgery, and we weren't able to do that," said Darrell "Doc" Rodgers, director of minor-league operations.

First road trip

Living space will get a little tighter for Melvin Mora this weekend.

Mora's wife, Gisel, and their quintuplets will be arriving in Fort Lauderdale on Friday. This will be the first flight for the babies, who are 19 months old. Mora's family lives in Baltimore.

At least Gisel will have some help. Her cousin and a nanny are making the trip.

"The babies are usually good about sitting still," Mora said. "When they see something new, they just chill out."

Tagging up

The Orioles will hold a "tag day" Saturday at Oriole Park, where fans interested in purchasing full-season ticket or mini-plans can select from seats that are tagged in the park.

Sun staff writer Peter Schmuck contributed to this article.

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