Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Orioles Team Report May 20, 2008

The Orioles may be taking a chance on the future of veteran pitcher Steve Trachsel by skipping two of his scheduled starts for the purpose of maintaining the routines of the younger pitchers. Manager Dave Trembley feels that Trachsel’s years of experience will allow him to deal with the change better than Garrett Olson, Brian Burres and Daniel Cabrera might.

The need for that action came about because of the schedule that gave the Orioles three days off in an eight-day span. The fact that the 37-year old Trachsel (2-4, 6.75 ERA) had not gotten out of the fourth inning in three of his last five starts might also have contributed to the decision, but Trembley wouldn’t say that.

The veteran right-hander realized such a move was likely to be made when he saw the way the schedule set up along with the problems he was having in his early starts.

“I wasn’t surprised,” Trachsel said. “It’s a lot easier to have one guy get bumped than to have everybody working on seven or eight days. If two or three guys can stay on five days, I guess I have to suck it up.”

Trachsel, who admitted the lack of action is tough on him, last started on May 9 and he’s not expected to get another start until Saturday, which would be a 14-day layoff, but he pointed out that he’s endured similar layoffs before. He pointed out that the key, for him, is to try whatever it takes to stay sharp and prepare for the eventual start.

“When I came back from my back surgery, I went from pitching every five days through two months of rehab to coming to New York and pitching on eight-to-nine days’ rest,” said Trachsel, referring to a 2005 experience.

Trachsel has been trying to maintain his groove with bullpen sessions that also give him an opportunity to work on the command of his fastball, the absence of which has plagued him in the first part of this season.

“I know his side sessions have been productive,” Trembley said. “We may do something early in the week: We may throw a simulated game in Yankee Stadium. I don’t know yet what we’re going to.”

Notes, Quotes

• RHP Steve Trachsel, who had two of his starts passed over to keep the younger pitchers on their schedules, has been working in bullpen sessions to regain command of his pitches, particularly his fastball. That, he feels, has been his problem en route to his 2-4 record and 6.75 ERA in his early-season starts.

• DH Aubrey Huff had gone through an 0-for-10 stretch in the series against the Nationals before getting a single in the ninth inning on Sunday, the final game of the three-game set. He was 3-for-23 in his last six games.

• C Guillermo Quiroz gets only limited playing time behind Ramon Hernandez, but he has raised his average from .172 to .225 in his last five games. Quiroz has reached base on a hit or walk 14 times in his 40 at-bats in 16 games and has scored seven times.

• C Ramon Hernandez has not scored a run since April 29 and has scored only seven runs in his 115 at-bats. During the games since April 29, he is 8-for-38 for a .211 average, which is two points better than his season average to date.

• CF Adam Jones had at least one hit in each of the five games on the just-ended homestand. By going 7-for-16 in those games, the rookie who came to the Orioles from the Mariners in the Erik Bedard trade raised his average from .228 to .247 for the season.

By The Numbers: 5—The number of different players who have started for the Orioles at shortstop. Alex Cintron, in the lineup on Saturday, the 42nd game of the season, was the fifth.

Quote To Note: “I’m trying to keep as many guys close to pitching on their regular turn as I possibly can. Until such a point where I can turn the rotation over and do that, I’m not going to mess with it. I think it’s important for routine.”—Manager Dave Trembley on his philosophy for keeping his starting pitchers on schedule.


Baltimore Orioles News