Unhurt Bedard welcomes rest

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

He's glad for extra time off, says arm is OK

Lopez to offer relief

August 09, 2006|By JEFF ZREBIEC | JEFF ZREBIEC,SUN REPORTER

TORONTO -- Erik Bedard wants to make one thing clear - he is not hurt. However, the pitcher doesn't deny that his left arm is feeling a little tired these days.

When Bedard takes the mound today at the Rogers Centre and opposes Toronto ace Roy Halladay, it will mark a full week since he last started. After talking to Bedard in the days following his last start which came in over 100-degree weather in Baltimore, Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo decided to push him back a couple days.

It wasn't because the Orioles are hiding an injury to their ace left-hander. Rather, Bedard told Perlozzo that he could use a little more time between starts.

"Everything is fine. It's not that I feel bad," said Bedard, who leads the staff with 12 wins. "I just feel a little tired. This is pretty much the most innings I've ever thrown consecutively, and my arm is a little tired. But I am feeling a lot better. These days have really helped a lot."

With about seven weeks remaining in the season, Bedard has totaled 135 2/3 innings. His high for a season came last year when he pitched 141 2/3 innings, though it was broken up because Bedard had an eight-week stay on the disabled list. Perlozzo said the club will monitor Bedard, but he hasn't seen any signs the lefty is tiring.

"I don't think he's shown anything to say that he is tired or anything like that," Perlozzo said. "I think one of the things that has been good about him this year is he's not as much [maximum] effort as he was in the past. Hopefully that will carry through."

Lopez start skipped

With a day off tomorrow, the Orioles are skipping Rodrigo Lopez's spot in the rotation and moving him to the bullpen for the time being. Perlozzo said that Lopez, the victim of a rotation crunch with Daniel Cabrera back from the minor leagues and Kris Benson off the disabled list, won't be needed to start until possibly Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

"If we don't miss somebody, people are going to be seven days [between starts] each time," Perlozzo said. "Somebody has to give, that's all there is to it."

Gibbons practices at first

Unable to shag fly balls because of a bad right knee, Jay Gibbons has been spending significant time before games taking grounders at first base. The club's Opening Day right fielder said that he started doing it of his own volition, but he doesn't expect to see any action at first base this season. Gibbons did tell Perlozzo that he'd be available to play the field in an emergency situation.

"I am still nowhere near playing the field still. I hyper-extended my knee running down the line," Gibbons said. "I am just trying to get out there, to get some footwork and to try to get that feeling back. But as far as I know, I am still an outfielder."

With Nick Markakis playing well in right field, Gibbons may be asked to play either first base or to be the team's full-time designated hitter next season. Gibbons has said in the past that he would not enjoy being an everyday DH.

"Unless, he shows marked improvement in his knee, I think we'll probably not force that issue unless we have to," said Perlozzo. "Our main goal for Jay is to get him healthy and to keep him healthy."

Bad news on Snyder

A magnetic resonance imaging test done yesterday confirmed that Brandon Snyder, the Orioles' first-round pick in the 2005 draft, has a tear in his left shoulder. David Stockstill, the Orioles director of minor league operations, said that Snyder will undergo more tests this week, but he did acknowledge that the findings were "bad news."

It is probable that the injury will end what has been a difficult campaign for the catcher, who was named the top prospect in the Appalachian League last season. Snyder started the season at Single-A Delmarva but was demoted to Aberdeen with a .194 average in late June. For Aberdeen, Snyder was hitting .234 with one home run and had struck out 43 times in 124 at-bats.

Around the horn

Perlozzo said he is leaning toward starting Fernando Tatis at first base today. Tatis played the outfield for the first time last week. ... Perlozzo ruled out moving Markakis to the top of the order any time soon, but said he'd consider experimenting with it in September. ... Rookie-level Bluefield outfielder Kieron Pope, now at Single-A Aberdeen, and Double-A Bowie pitcher Beau Hale were named the Orioles' minor league Player and Pitcher of the Month for July.

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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