Dividing playing time could be tough equation for Perlozzo



August 12, 2005|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

Orioles interim manager Sam Perlozzo gave Sammy Sosa last night off, something that could become more common in the last two months of the season.

"I told him that I'd be trying to get him a day," said Perlozzo, who used recent call-up Alejandro Freire at first base, David Newhan in right field and Jay Gibbons as designated hitter for last night's series finale against the Devil Rays. "I wanted to give him a day off in Texas in the heat and he insisted that he really wanted to play. After three days in the heat, I told him that I was going to give him today off."

Perlozzo acknowledged that he is going to have some decisions to make in the upcoming days in filling out his lineup card, especially when Rafael Palmeiro is deemed ready for a return to the lineup.

Sosa had shown signs of breaking out from his first-half slump since the All-Star break, but he is currently in the midst of a 1-for-15 slump, his average dropping to .232.

"We are going to have [Sosa] and Raffy and Alejandro in there so we are going to have to divide it up a little bit, unless someone really wants to take the bull by the horns and get scalding hot," Perlozzo said.

"If Alejandro is swinging the bat, and you have Sammy and you have Raffy and Javy [Lopez], we are going to have to pick and choose a little bit. We'll just see how it goes. I don't know how it is going to shake out to be honest with you. I hope it's because the tough part is they are all hitting so darn good, I don't know which one to put in there. That's what I really hope."

So far, Perlozzo has liked what he has seen from Freire, who has started all three games since his contract was purchased from Triple-A Ottawa. Freire entered yesterday with one hit in eight at-bats, but Perlozzo is hoping that he'll relax after getting his first major league hit out of the way on Wednesday night. He was 2-for-4 last night.

"He gets up here and he's not afraid to swing the bat, so I kind of like that," said Perlozzo. "The guys kind of like him, he seems to be a real nice man and he kind of fits in. He lets it fly up there. ... He looks at the present time he may be able to help us, so that's really all we are going with."

Maine or DuBose?

With Sidney Ponson on the disabled list, the Orioles still haven't made a decision on who will make tomorrow's start against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Perlozzo said that the two choices remain Eric DuBose, who was recalled from Double-A Bowie earlier this week and hasn't pitched yet from the Orioles' bullpen, or John Maine, who is currently at Triple-A Ottawa.

"Those are the only two options I know of," Perlozzo said.

It appears that DuBose, who has made 24 career starts for the Orioles, will be given the ball, unless he is needed in long relief today.

Cummings designated

To make room for Palmeiro on both the 25 and 40-man rosters, the Orioles designated Midre Cummings for assignment. Cummings played just two innings and got one at-bat - he struck out on Aug. 2 at Anaheim in his Orioles' debut - after his contract was purchased from Triple-A Ottawa.

If Cummings clears waivers, Perlozzo said that he'll be returned to Ottawa.

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