High Pitches Are Holding Bradford Down

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Sinker is problem, Perlozzo says

manager not upset with Gibbons

May 10, 2007|By Michael Gluskin | Michael Gluskin,The Baltimore Sun

Chad Bradford trotted to the mound Tuesday night with a four-run lead, but by the time he walked toward the dugout, the Orioles' advantage was just two runs. In his one inning of work, Bradford gave up four singles to the first five hitters he faced, leading to two runs.

Bradford, one of the Orioles' four offseason bullpen additions, leads the American League with 19 appearances, though he has given up 20 hits in his 13 2/3 innings. He has also walked five, and opponents are hitting .351 against him.

Bradford has given up at least one hit in each of his past eight outings, none of which has been longer than an inning. Manager Sam Perlozzo feels that Bradford's troubles are correctable.

"I think Chad needs to go strike one and get ahead of the hitter right away and keep the ball down," Perlozzo said. "He throws that underhand sinker and lately he's been getting that up around belt high and higher and working behind the hitters."

Bradford, a submarine right-hander, isn't happy he's giving up runs, but he hasn't noticed any major flaws with his mechanics. "If I'm getting ground balls, I'm OK with that," he said. "You want to make quality pitches."

Of the four singles he allowed Tuesday, three were ground balls. "I wanted to get the ground balls. "That's all you can try to do," he said. "You can't make them hit it at somebody."

Monday, Bradford took the loss after giving up two hits in a third of an inning against the Cleveland Indians.

Perlozzo responds

A day after Jay Gibbons voiced his frustration about his lack of playing time, Perlozzo said he didn't have anything negative to say about Gibbons, though he did make a point to say that he'd prefer that complaints stay within the clubhouse.

"There's a reality that we're trying to win games and we are trying to do things to win for the team," Perlozzo said. "As a team, we try to put the team before we put anybody else and we'll continue to do that."

After sitting out three straight games, Gibbons started Tuesday night and went 3-for-4 with a double and a home run. He went 0-for-2 with a walk last night.

Perlozzo said he's spoken with Gibbons and that his office door is open for players to come in and talk. "I don't have anything negative to say other than, we're trying to do the absolute best to get him right and we've been working on that," Perlozzo said. "The newspaper's not the place to talk about it."

Pitching trade winds

Orioles vice president Jim Duquette said yesterday that the club has had only preliminary discussions with teams about obtaining a starting pitcher.

One option is Jason Davis, who was designated for assignment this week by the Indians. Darek Braunecker, Davis' agent, said he wasn't sure of the Orioles' interest level, but maintained that the club would be an "attractive situation" for Davis.

Though Duquette wouldn't discuss interest in certain pitchers, one club source said the Orioles have held internal discussions about Davis, the Kansas City Royals' Odalis Perez and the New York Mets' Chan Ho Park.

Loewen update

Starting pitcher Adam Loewen, who will not throw for the next eight weeks after suffering a stress fracture in his left elbow, said he was relieved that the injury will not require surgery.

"I think the best part of it is I am not going to need surgery no matter what and that it will heal back," said Loewen, who is expected to see a doctor in two weeks to determine whether the injury is healing. "I don't think the timetable gets any better, but just the fact that I don't have to have a screw in my arm is the best news for that."

Loewen saw a doctor Monday, and he is doing what he can to accelerate the healing process at home. He's been using a bone-stimulation machine that helps the cells grow quicker than usual.

Around the horn

The Orioles are expected to make a decision on reliever Scott Williamson today. Williamson is eligible to come off the disabled list. ... Corey Patterson got last night off, giving Jay Payton his first start in center field.

Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.

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