Halama called up for DuBose

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Out of options, DuBose must pass waivers

Loewen shines at Bowie

April 09, 2006|By CHILDS WALKER | CHILDS WALKER,SUN REPORTER

The Orioles swapped left-handed long relievers yesterday when they purchased John Halama's contract from Triple-A Ottawa and designated Eric DuBose for assignment.

Halama spent less than a week in the minors after being among the final players cut from the 25-man roster last weekend.

The veteran seemed grim when approached by reporters but said: "It's not that I'm not thrilled. I'm happy as heck to be back here."

He had not pitched for Ottawa before learning of his promotion around midnight Friday. He arrived yesterday morning.

Halama posted a 2.25 ERA this spring. "I think I threw the ball very well," he said. "The way Leo [Mazzone] talked to me about commanding, I just took it and ran with it."

Manager Sam Perlozzo said he'd probably use Halama in long relief but would be comfortable employing him later in the game as well.

After starter Daniel Cabrera was pulled from Friday's game in the second inning, DuBose pitched 3 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and three walks. The long outing left him unavailable for three days. With only six relievers on hand, the club couldn't afford to carry an unusable pitcher, Perlozzo said.

DuBose is out of minor league options so he would have to clear waivers to be sent to Ottawa. When asked if that was his wish, he said, "Lord, no. You want to get picked up off waivers so you go right back to the big leagues. Why would I want to go back to Ottawa?"

DuBose has pitched for the organization since 2002, posting a 5.21 ERA in 188 1/3 big league innings, including five earned runs in 4 2/3 this year.

Perlozzo said the club is taking a risk.

"If he gets claimed, he would be in the big leagues and that would be good for him but not so good for us," the manager said.

Perlozzo said that for DuBose to work his way back to Baltimore, he'd have to improve his control and throw his curveball more consistently.

"It's just one of those things," DuBose said. "It's a numbers deal and they had to make a move."

Loewen sparkles

Orioles prospect Adam Loewen turned in the best outing of his career for Double-A Bowie on Friday night, one-hitting the Reading Phillies over eight innings. Loewen struck out 12 and walked none.

"Last night, he did it as easily and effortlessly as any pitcher I've seen working through a game," minor league director David Stockstill said. "For him to show that over eight innings says a lot about how bright his future looks."

Stockstill said Loewen threw his devastating curve for strikes and also showed good velocity on his fastball.

The 6-foot-5 left-hander has struggled with control in previous seasons but threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of 26 Phillies in his season debut.

"He got ahead of people and then threw strikeout pitches," Stockstill said. "He did everything you could want a pitcher to do and more."

Perlozzo was impressed as well.

"It sounds like he did what we expect him to do," the manager said. "His velocity was up, he powered the ball, he commanded his pitches. ... That's what he needs to do. He needs to back it up a couple more times, I think."

Loewen's contract says he must make the Orioles next year or be waived, so the club will be watching closely.

Newhan waits

Perlozzo had a long talk with outfielder David Newhan before Friday night's game and told him to be patient in waiting for at-bats. He said yesterday that Newhan would probably start in right field and bat leadoff today.

After an excellent spring, Newhan has yet to start a game. But he's been opportunistic, going 2-for-4 in late-game replacement stints. He drilled a three-run homer Friday night.

"We've got highly capable players with track records, and we've got a lot of them," Newhan said. "Five games in, it's tough to get everybody going and get at-bats for everyone. I've just got to be patient."

Newhan said he appreciates Perlozzo's communication skills. He often didn't understand his role last year under Lee Mazzilli.

"It's not always what you want to hear," he said of Perlozzo's honesty. "But you'd rather have that than hear lies pumping you up." childs.walker@baltsun.com

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