Cabrera to get call, return to face Blue Jays

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Pitcher is 3-1 in 4 starts for Ottawa

flaw found, Ortiz to try again today

August 07, 2006|By ROCH KUBATKO AND KATIE CARRERA | ROCH KUBATKO AND KATIE CARRERA,SUN REPORTERS

If Daniel Cabrera is going to be part of the Orioles' future, they've decided that he needs to start pitching for them.

Tomorrow's game in Toronto seems like the right time and place.

The Orioles continue to list their starter as "undecided," but Cabrera is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Ottawa, where he's 3-1 with a 4.07 ERA in four starts since being optioned.

His last appearance came Thursday, when he tossed six scoreless innings for the Lynx. He'd be working on normal rest tomorrow.

Cabrera also would be the latest change to a pitching staff that has been in a state of flux. Sent down on July 14 to improve his command, he has allowed 20 hits, walked nine and struck out 27 in 24 1/3 innings.

"We need to get our rotation back in order, and he's part of the rotation," Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said. "If he's going to be part of our future, he needs to get back up here and start pitching for us and straighten it out up here. It's time to get this thing rolling."

It's likely Erik Bedard will be held back two days, allowing him to pitch Wednesday against former Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay. Perlozzo initially said Bedard would pitch Tuesday, providing extra rest for the left-hander.

"I think that Erik really maxed out on that hot day [Wednesday against the Seattle Mariners]. The extra days will help him and put him in line for where we want him," said Perlozzo, who also said Bedard is not injured.

Russ Ortiz, demoted to the bullpen after four starts, will fill today's opening in the rotation after studying video with pitching coach Leo Mazzone and discovering a flaw in his mechanics.

"Leo and [bullpen coach] Larry McCall told me his side work has been a lot better," Perlozzo said. "They see some signs that he's improved a little bit. Hopefully he can take that into the game for us."

Ortiz, who has allowed 21 earned runs in 16 1/3 innings, said he used to pause in his windup after removing the ball from his glove, but had stopped doing it.

"We feel like we got a good hold of what I need to do to get myself back to where I've always been," he said. "We found out I was doing something out of the ordinary, but you won't really be able to catch it unless you know my mechanics. That's one thing, getting back together with Leo, I knew he knew me mentally, physically, mechanically.

"I always thought it was something that I'm not seeing, obviously and no one else is seeing. There is something, but you don't know what it is. Leo and I looked at video and I think we found it. You could tell, especially when we slowed it down, how my hand came out of my glove."

R. Lopez welcomes Widger

The Orioles' newest player, catcher Chris Widger, entered yesterday's game having never caught starting pitcher Rodrigo Lopez before.

"It's hard," Widger said. "For me, I want them to feel comfortable out there. I want them to be able to pitch their own game. It's going to take me a little bit to learn each pitcher and what they like to do in certain situations."

After the game, Lopez said he liked the way he worked with Widger, a 10-year major league veteran.

"The guy is good," Lopez said. "We talked a little bit before the game, and I think we had pretty good communication during the game."

The Orioles signed Widger as a free agent Friday to be the team's backup catcher after Javy Lopez was traded to the Boston Red Sox. Widger, who went 0-for-2 with a walk yesterday, had been released Tuesday by the Chicago White Sox and has a career average of .239.

Lopez said he wouldn't be opposed to being paired regularly with Widger as he had been with Javy Lopez, but Perlozzo has said that he won't necessarily create that matchup.

Rested and ready

In two appearances against the New York Yankees since returning from bereavement leave after the death of his grandmother, Orioles reliever LaTroy Hawkins hasn't allowed a hit in two innings.

"Getting four days of rest helps," Hawkins said when asked how he was feeling. "I didn't think about baseball. I didn't even pick up a baseball for four days. Even if I get a day off out here, I'm still around it."

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com katherine.carrera@baltsun.com

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