Starter Wright having trouble with control

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

New pitcher Tracey not likely to make Opening Day roster

Notebook

March 26, 2007|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,Sun reporter

JUPITER, FLA. -- Asked what he took out of yesterday's start, Orioles pitcher Jaret Wright noted the good and the bad.

Throwing more than 70 pitches in four innings didn't go on the positive side of the ledger.

Wright allowed four hits and four runs and walked five before manager Sam Perlozzo went to his bullpen in a 6-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Wright still hasn't pitched into the fifth in any start this spring, but he said he has stretched out sufficiently to be full-go once the Orioles break camp.

"It's not so much to me innings, it's pitches and what you do with the pitches you've got," he said. "If I had taken 70 pitches today and was able to go five or six, it would have been the same."

Wright's ERA increased to 5.79 in 14 innings, in part because of some inconsistencies with his sinker.

"To the lefties, I had a tendency to get a little flat with the sinker and kind of fight myself with my arm slot," he said. "I thought facing righties was a little bit better. I've got to use my pitches a little bit more efficiently."

Checking out Tracey

New Orioles pitcher Sean Tracey threw on the side for about 12 minutes in Fort Lauderdale. And he had a captive audience.

Perlozzo and pitching coach Leo Mazzone delayed their trip to Jupiter so they could watch Tracey.

"Good power arm, nice slider, has a nice changeup," Perlozzo said. "He has an explosive fastball that we need to harness a little bit. We just made a few suggestions. Probably get him on the side one more time to see where we are."

Perlozzo indicated Tracey has no shot at making the club with so few days remaining in spring training. He could pitch in Wednesday's split-squad game against the Washington Nationals in Viera. Once he reports to Triple-A Norfolk, he'll be used as a reliever.

Club vice president Jim Duquette said the Orioles almost acquired Tracey at last year's nonwaiver trade deadline before the deal collapsed. They claimed him off waivers Friday.

"He has good arm strength. He's just a little bit wild," Duquette said, noting Mazzone already has made some suggestions regarding Tracey's mechanics.

Once a highly regarded prospect, Tracey tumbled down the White Sox's depth chart. They inquired whether he wanted to leave the organization before placing him on waivers.

"There were a lot of new faces in the White Sox's clubhouse that kind of put me on the back burner," Tracey said. "This gives me a chance to get a fresh scene and new blood. It's great. It's kind of like a rebirth in your career, a chance to start over.

"Anytime you go from feeling like just another piece of meat and feel like someone out there is appreciating what you do, it's very uplifting."

Six starters at Norfolk?

With an abundance of starters, Norfolk might go with a six-man rotation early in the season.

Hayden Penn and Kurt Birkins, optioned by the Orioles yesterday, are likely to join Rob Bell, Jon Leicester, Garrett Olson and Jim Johnson.

Jeremy Guthrie, a former first-round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians, is expected to serve as a long reliever with the Orioles. He's out of minor league options.

Around the horn

The Orioles are expecting to hear today whether Rule 5 catcher Adam Donachie cleared waivers. If he does, they'll attempt to work out a deal with the Kansas City Royals, but at this point, it appears unlikely they'll be able to keep him. ... The two left-handers in the bullpen, Jamie Walker and John Parrish, struck out all six batters they faced yesterday. Parrish got the save. ... Reliever Sendy Rleal was sent to the minor league camp to continue rehabilitating his sore right elbow. ... Duquette said he expects first baseman Josh Phelps to stay with the New York Yankees rather than be offered back to the Orioles, who lost him in the Rule 5 draft. ... The Orioles could soon give clearance for injured reliever Paul Shuey to resume throwing. ... Cardinals center fielder Jim Edmonds appeared in his first exhibition game yesterday and played three innings.

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.

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