Baez Feeling Lucky



Healthy At Last, Reliever Gets His First Win As An Oriole

April 28, 2009|By Dan Connolly | Dan Connolly,

With three perfect innings Sunday, reliever Danys Baez picked up his first win as an Oriole and first big league victory since July 7, 2006, when he was a Los Angeles Dodger.

Signed by the Orioles to a three-year deal in November 2006, Baez suffered through an 0-6 season in 2007 before having elbow surgery that cost him all of last year.

"Being in the bullpen, to get a win you have to be lucky," Baez said. "Wins don't mean too much for us. For us, it's holds and saves."

Baez entered Sunday's game with two on and no outs, wriggled out of the jam and pitched two more scoreless innings while the Orioles rallied against the Texas Rangers.

"I feel healthy," Baez said. "The training I've been doing for a year and a half helped me a lot, and I've been working on my mechanics with the pitching coach and with my bullpen coach, too."

Opponents are batting .139 against Baez (1-1, 3.48 ERA), who is throwing his fastball in the mid-90s and splitter in the low-90s.

"Danys Baez has been nothing short of exceptional," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "I'm not saying he's a closer, but [Sunday] he had legitimate closer stuff."

Baez is being brought along slowly in the long reliever's role. On Sunday, he pitched on four days' rest, something Trembley would like to do as much as he can. Baez could end up as a spot starter if he proves to be more effective with extended rest.

The Reimold watch

Triple-A Norfolk outfielder Nolan Reimold, 25, is on a tear in the minors, batting .417 with six homers and 19 RBIs in his first 60 at-bats for the Tides.

"He is off to a real nice start, and I hope it continues because he is a guy we all feel could help us," Trembley said. "When that is, I am not sure."

Rehab carousel

Melvin Mora (strained left hamstring) will play third base for six innings Tuesday at Triple-A Norfolk and get three at-bats. If he passes that test, Mora would be activated for Friday's game in Toronto, Trembley said.

Left-hander Rich Hill (strained left elbow) is expected to pitch Wednesday for the Tides. He will throw 65 to 70 pitches, Trembley said.

Utility man Ryan Freel (head injury) began a rehabilitation assignment at Single-A Delmarva on Monday and will play at various affiliates until he is eligible to come off the DL on May 6.

Around the horn

Jim Adenhart, father of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, a native of Western Maryland who was killed in a car accident this month, will throw out Tuesday's first pitch. Friends and family members are expected to attend. ... Bench coach Dave Jauss has been away from the Orioles since Saturday dealing with a throat infection that landed him in the hospital and led to removal of his tonsils. Roving catching instructor Don Werner will take his place until he can return, likely this week. ... Entering Monday, the top third of the Orioles' lineup leads the majors in average, on-base percentage, runs, hits, doubles, RBIs and on-base plus slugging.

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