Roch around the clock

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July 16, 2006|By ROCH KUBATKO

The Orioles' decision to send pitcher Daniel Cabrera to Triple-A came during a meeting with manager Sam Perlozzo and team executives Mike Flanagan and Jim Duquette. And I firmly believe it was the right one, given how despondent Cabrera was after Thursday night's 15-1 loss.

"We just felt like Danny was going a little backward on us," Perlozzo said. "Mentally, the game was getting to him a little bit. We need him. We need this guy. We'd like to get him in a situation where he can relax a little bit, go back to basics and work on his breaking ball and changeup, and command of his fastball."

Cabrera looks good when warming up before games. Pitching coach Leo Mazzone informs Perlozzo that the right-hander is hitting his spots. But everything changes once the games begin.

Cabrera is 4-7 with a 5.25 ERA in 16 starts. Over his past six, he's 0-5 with a 7.02 ERA. He leads the American League with 75 walks and 13 wild pitches. And his confidence seems to be shattered at the moment.

Maybe he can pick up the pieces in Ottawa, the place he skipped while going from Double-A Bowie to the majors in 2004.

"We need to give Daniel a couple starts - two, three, four starts. It'll be up to him. And get him back on track and get him back up here, because we certainly need him," Perlozzo said.

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

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