Haehnel piling up zeroes at Aberdeen

Throwing aggressively, IronBird has not allowed earned run in 18 innings

Orioles minor league notebook

August 02, 2004|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

So far, David Haehnel's recipe for success at short-season Single-A Aberdeen doesn't require a lot of ingredients. A pinch of this, a dash of that and another hitter is cooked.

"I just go out there and try to be aggressive, stay aggressive and get ahead in the count," he said. "I guess it's working out for me."

To say the least.

Heading into the weekend, Haehnel hadn't surrendered an earned run in 14 appearances covering 18 innings since the Orioles chose him in the eighth round of this year's draft out of Illinois-Chicago. He allowed three unearned runs and 10 hits, walked two and struck out 28.

Haehnel, 22, recorded eight saves for the IronBirds, who had lost 12 of their previous 14 games before Saturday.

"Everybody's going to have a bad outing. All good things come to an end," he said.

"I just go out there and try to attack each hitter individually. I don't really think about giving up a run or not. I just think about trying to see what the hitters' weaknesses are throughout the game and how I can attack them, what pitches will work out best for me."

That includes a slider that pitching coach Andre Rabouin has helped to refine.

"He taught me a much easier grip," Haehnel said. "I'm able to throw all three of my pitches for strikes."

In college, Haehnel was 6-3 with four saves and a 3.00 ERA in 21 appearances this spring, including 12 starts. He walked 24 and struck out 92 in 90 innings. In three years, he was 14-4 with 16 saves and a 2.69 ERA.

Haehnel replaced Brandan Spillers as the closer this season - Spillers led the team with seven saves in 2003 - but he eventually could become a starter. He's just reminding the Orioles that he can handle either role.

"I'll just take what they give me," he said, "and run with it."

Triple-A Ottawa

John Maine allowed three runs and walked five in 4 2/3 innings Thursday in his first start since returning to the Lynx. He didn't get the decision in a 5-3 win over Rochester that included Chad Mottola's 14th homer. ... Rick Bauer allowed two runs over six innings Wednesday in his best start since the Orioles optioned him. ... Jack Cust hit two homers last week, giving him 15 on the season.

Double-A Bowie

Closer Jacobo Sequea lost his second game in a week Thursday after blowing a 6-3 lead against Erie. ... Chris Piersoll didn't allow an earned run in seven innings Saturday, but Altoona scored twice against Craig House in the eighth to win, 3-2. ... Keith Reed hit his 13th homer Thursday. ... The Baysox had 21 hits, including two homers from catcher Eli Whiteside, in Wednesday's 14-7 win over Erie. ... Walter Young had 24 homers going into the weekend.

Single-A Frederick

Shortstop Jose Morban cleared waivers and remained at Frederick. ... The Keys defeated Potomac, 6-4, in 11 innings Friday despite being outhit, 13-4. ... Chris Ray allowed one run and six hits in four innings against Potomac, leaving his ERA at 4.47.

Single-A Delmarva

The Shorebirds were 15-21 in the second half before yesterday. ... Adam Loewen held Lexington to one run in five innings in Thursday's 2-1 loss. ... Jeff Fiorentino, a third-round pick this year out of Florida Atlantic, hit safely in 12 of 14 games, batting .316 with four homers and 11 RBIs.

Short-season teams

Aberdeen left-hander Chris Smith, the seventh overall pick in the 2001 draft, went on the disabled list with tightness in his left shoulder. The Orioles were hoping that he could resume pitching after being shut down last month. ... Luis Ramirez hadn't allowed a homer in 41 innings until giving up three Friday. He was charged with eight runs in two-plus innings, raising his ERA from 2.63 to 4.19. ... Bluefield's Bob McCrory, drafted in the fourth round last year out of Southern Mississippi, was third in the Appalachian League with a 2.02 ERA.

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