Cormier receives a second chance


Reliever, sent to minors in March, gets called up


May 03, 2008|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,Sun reporter

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- When Orioles manager Dave Trembley summoned reliever Lance Cormier into his office in March to inform him that he would be sent to Triple-A Norfolk, the veteran right-hander acknowledged that he didn't deserve to make the team. After all, he allowed 14 earned runs in 7 1/3 innings this spring.

So Trembley told him to go to Norfolk and get outs and that he eventually would get his opportunity. That happened yesterday when the Orioles selected Cormier's contract to fill the roster spot created when Randor Bierd was put on the disabled list because of right shoulder tendinitis.

"I just needed to go down there and pitch like I was capable of, like I've done before, and show them that spring training wasn't the guy I was supposed to be," said Cormier, 27, who was 1-1 with a 0.96 ERA in 18 2/3 innings for the Tides. "Heck, I stuck around [this spring] longer than I thought I would. Obviously I want to be in the big leagues and I want to make the team. But guys deserved it more than I did."

Cormier said he didn't make any adjustments, attributing his success largely to just getting in a routine. He'll now be asked to serve as a long guy in the Orioles' bullpen.

Bierd, a Rule 5 selection, started the season with seven consecutive scoreless outings. But he gave up runs in his past two appearances and reported shoulder pain after Tuesday's outing. A magnetic resonance imaging test confirmed that there was tendinitis in his shoulder. He reported to the club's extending spring training facility.

"They did some testing on him, and it's going to be a few weeks probably," said club president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail.

Shortstop shuffle

MacPhail confirmed that he had discussions with veteran shortstop Juan Castro, who was designated for assignment by the Cincinnati Reds last month.

Castro, 35, a career .230 hitter over parts of 14 big league seasons, signed a minor league deal yesterday with the Colorado Rockies, who just lost starter Troy Tulowitzki until possibly the All-Star break.

"We talked to him, and it's somebody we'd been following," MacPhail said of Castro. "We talked to him about going to Norfolk. The way it was described to me, they made the decision that made sense for them geographically as well as opportunity-wise. They have the type of deal that they think gives them flexibility."

Still seeking shortstop depth, the Orioles plan to have Freddie Bynum play the position for a while at Double-A Bowie. Bynum, who had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee in March, began a rehabilitation assignment last night.

"I think right now he's going to play shortstop in Bowie, and we're going to evaluate him," said Trembley, who isn't sure how long Bynum's rehab stint will last. "We're going to have our scouting people go in there and look at him as a shortstop and see where he's at."

Spoone, Moore sidelined

Triple-A infielder Scott Moore hurt his knee in a collision Wednesday and is expected to get an MRI done this week. MacPhail said the club is hopeful that Moore just has a bone bruise.

The Orioles expect Chorye Spoone, whom Baseball America ranks as the team's eighth-best prospect, to return to Bowie's rotation in the next two weeks after shutting him down because of soreness related to right biceps tendinitis. David Stockstill, director of player development, said Spoone is pain-free and didn't suffer structural damage.

"It's been rainy and cold, and it's something that's probably been building gradually," Stock- still said.

Spoone, a Pasadena native and eighth-round pick in the 2005 amateur draft out of CCBC-Catonsville, is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts.

Sun reporter Roch Kubatko contributed to this article.

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