Wednesday, June 11, 2008

O's designate Trachsel, call up Salazar

BOSTON -- Orioles veteran right-hander Steve Trachsel, whose struggles as a starter resulted in him moving to the bullpen, was designated for assignment on Tuesday.

The Orioles notified Triple-A Norfolk first baseman Oscar Salazar on Monday he would join the team in Boston before Baltimore's three-game series with the Red Sox began on Tuesday.

Trachel, a 37-year-old veteran who reached 2,500 career innings on June 1 against Boston, was 2-5 with an 8.39 ERA in 10 games for the Orioles. Regarding the move to the bullpen, manager Dave Trembley said he thought the veteran was never fully comfortable in that role.

"He didn't pitch good enough, bottom line," Trembley said. "We had to move on, and we did."

With Trachsel being designated, the team will have 10 days to trade the veteran, release him or assign him to the Minor Leagues. The 16-year veteran has played for the Cubs, Rays, Blue Jays, Mets and Orioles.

"I just let the numbers and the way he pitched -- everyone saw the numbers and the way he pitched -- and let them speak for themselves," Trembley said.

"But he's fine. He's a professional athlete. He's been through it before. One thing about Trachsel is he knows how to handle himself."

The roster move made room for Salazar, a right-handed hitter that cut the team's pitchers on the staff from 13 to 12. But Trembley said the move comes at a good time, considering the O's will face Red Sox lefty Jon Lester on Thursday and then three more left-handers n a weekend series against the Pirates.

Salazar impressed Trembley during Spring Training and has gone on a tear in Triple-A. A well traveled athlete, Salazar, 29, spent eight games in 2002 with the Tigers. He's since spent time playing in Mexico and Italy trying to make his way back to the Major Leagues.

"It's exciting when you're almost out of baseball and try to make it to the big leagues six years after you played in the big leagues," Salazar said.

Salazar batted .311 with seven home runs, 23 doubles and 44 RBIs in 63 games with Norfolk this season. He was signed by the Orioles as a Minor League free agent on Nov. 24, 2006, and found himself in Spring Training this season impressing Baltimore's manager.

"He impressed me in Spring Training," Trembley said. "He swung the bat and could play more than one position. He's a contact hitter -- went down to Triple-A and kept our interest."

Trembley said Salazar would be a role player with the club and he would insert him into games as the situation arose. That's OK with the visibly excited Salazar, who said his excited emotions of making it back to the big leagues will keep him motivated to help the team whenever necessary.

"I'm just very happy," Salazar said. "I'm going to try to do the same things I do in Triple-A and help the team the most I can."


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