O's hoping to hit gold with prospect McCrory

ROCH AROUND THE CLOCK

The Kickoff

October 24, 2007|By ROCH KUBATKO

So much for all that available space on the 40-man roster.

The Orioles had their reasons for outrighting all those players after the season. They wanted to purchase the contracts of pitchers Bob McCrory and Fredy Deza from Double-A Bowie and activate Erik Bedard, Kris Benson, Jay Gibbons, Adam Loewen and Chris Ray from the 60-day disabled list.

Now they're at 40 again.

Kris Benson? Is he still in the organization?

McCrory has a real chance to accompany the Orioles north when camp breaks in spring, though the smart money has him beginning the year at Triple-A Norfolk. He combined for 27 saves in 44 games at Single-A Frederick and Bowie, striking out 44 in 45 innings. He had 14 saves and a 1.23 ERA at Frederick.

McCrory, a fourth-round pick in 2003, already had ligament-reconstructive surgery on his right elbow. I'm not sure whether he's ever strained an oblique.

Part of the Phoenix Desert Dogs' roster, McCrory was named the Arizona Fall League's Pitcher of the Week on Monday. He has four saves - and a bright future.

A scout I talked to from another organization projects McCrory as part of the Orioles' bullpen in 2008. Bowie pitching coach Scott McGregor also raves about him and sounds certain he'll pitch in the majors - and soon.

Manager Dave Trembley wants a power left-hander in the bullpen. McCrory will try to convince him that a power right-hander would come in handy, too.

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

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