All-Star Game didn't put him on DL, Sherrill says

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Notebook

August 21, 2008|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,Sun reporter

After using reliever George Sherrill for 2 1/3 innings at last month's All-Star Game when a shortage of pitchers left him with few other options, Boston Red Sox and American League All-Star team manager Terry Francona called Orioles president Andy MacPhail and pitching coach Rick Kranitz to explain the situation.

Francona made another call to an Oriole yesterday, contacting Sherrill after learning that he went on the 15-day disabled list with left shoulder inflammation.

"I don't think we were disrespectful or ignorant of him. I do understand that now he's on the DL, so I called him," Francona said. "I don't want to see a kid go on the DL anyway, not if I have something to do with it. But I don't want them to go on the DL anyway."

Sherrill and the Orioles have not blamed Francona publicly, saying the closer's injury was more of a result of wear and tear. The 31-year-old has thrown 50 1/3 innings this year, not including his outing in the All-Star Game, which was his longest appearance since 2004. His previous career high was 45 2/3 innings.

"He just was concerned, and he wanted to make sure he didn't have anything to do with it," Sherrill said of Francona's phone call. "But that was just another step in the process. Being a lefty specialist and only getting 40-whatever innings the last few years and then all of the sudden having 50 already, it's just that on top of everything else."

With Sherrill out, Orioles manager Dave Trembley said he wouldn't name a full-time replacement, though Jim Johnson figures to get the majority of the save opportunities.

"It's a little bit more of a pressure situation, but the eighth inning is the same as the ninth inning, I think," Johnson said. "I'm not going to approach it any differently."

Liz, then Burres?

Radhames Liz, who was 4-3 with a 7.47 ERA in 10 starts with the Orioles this season, will be recalled in time to make tomorrow night's start against the New York Yankees. Liz, who is 2-2 for Triple-A Norfolk with a 2.67 ERA in four starts since he was demoted, will take both the rotation and roster spot of Garrett Olson, who was optioned after last night's game and will start tomorrow night for Norfolk.

Olson said: "It's a long season and everybody has their ups and downs and it's just one of those things you've got to work through and hopefully get better at and hopefully I think it just makes you a better person after what you go through."

With Dennis Sarfate's demotion to the bullpen, the Orioles will need a starter Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox, and Norfolk left-hander Brian Burres appears the likely man.

Mickolio arrives

The Orioles continued their bullpen shake-up yesterday, selecting the contract of right-hander Kam Mickolio from Norfolk to take Sherrill's roster spot.

Trembley isn't ready to commit to a role for Mickolio, 24, who posted a 1.50 ERA and two saves in 15 games for Norfolk.

Mickolio, who gave up three hits and one run in one inning last night in his major league debut, said the call-up was "very exciting. I'm still trying to figure out how to control my emotions."

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Dan Connolly contributed to this article.

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