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De la Rosa called up early to...


De la Rosa called up early to plug hole in bullpen

TORONTO -- Pitcher Francisco de la Rosa joined the Baltimore Orioles roster yesterday, but his recall came a few days earlier than the club originally had planned.

The Orioles bullpen was so hurt by Sunday's 14-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins and Monday's loss to the Toronto Blue Jays that manager John Oates had to call for help.

"During yesterday's game, I had one of the trainers call Roland [Hemond] and tell him that I might need a pitcher," Oates said. "We used [Gregg] Olson for two yesterday. [Todd] Frohwirth pitched four. [Anthony] Telford pitched three on Sunday. It's pretty slack from the right side."

The club probably would have recalled de la Rosa along with the rest of the call-ups after the Class AAA Rochester Red Wings complete their regular season today. There probably will be two more players recalled in time for Friday's homestand opener at Memorial Stadium.

De la Rosa was 4-1 with a 2.67 ERA in 38 Class AAA appearances, 34 of them in relief. He pitched 84 1/3 innings and gave up 71 hits.

Mercedes meets management

Minor-league outfielder Luis Mercedes met with Hemond and assistant general managers Doug Melvin and Frank Robinson yesterday to discuss the disciplinary problems he had at Rochester this year. He'll meet with Hemond again today and work out in front of club officials before a determination is made whether to promote him to the big-league roster.

"We wanted to sit down with him and have some conversations and see where he's coming from," Hemond said. "He's very remorseful. He knows he acted on impulse."

Mercedes was suspended for the final two weeks of the International League season for swinging his batting helmet and injuring an opposing player. The Orioles have honored the suspension by not recalling Mercedes before the end of the Red Wings season, but probably will add him to the roster tomorrow.

"We want to run him through a couple of workouts and see where he is," Hemond said. "We also want to talk to him again before we decide what to do."

The Orioles have high hopes that Mercedes will emerge as a candidate for the leadoff role next year, but he has been suspended twice this year. He was sent home earlier in the season for insubordination.

Williamson still hurting

Reliever Mark Williamson, who just spent 2 1/2 weeks on thdisabled list with a strained rib cage muscle, was not available last night or Monday because of a recurrence of the muscle soreness.

"It's tender," Williamson said. "When I first did it, I couldn't even move. Now, it's just sore."

Williamson was hoping to put together a successful September and wipe away some of the frustration from this difficult season. But now it looks as if he'll pitch very sparingly the rest of the way.

"I'm just getting tired of pitching hurt," he said. "I want to do something good the last month, but there's no point in going out there and blowing it out again. I'm not doing myself or the team any good."

Orsulak still hurting

Outfielder Joe Orsulak, who jammed his shoulder diving for ball in Sunday's game at the Metrodome, reported improvement yesterday, but was held out of the game with a sore hamstring.

"The shoulder was better," Oates said, "but he's had a nagging hamstring for the last 10 days to two weeks."

The day after

Oates displayed his frustration after Monday's sloppy lossbut he had cooled down considerably 24 hours later.

"Me and my coaches took care of everything that happened in yesterday's game," Oates said. "My job is not to embarrass or put down the ballplayers. It's to make them better ballplayers."


There are tickets remaining for the Orioles Wives Cruistomorrow. Proceeds benefit the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. For information, call 955-8767. . . . Monday's loss was the 20th of the year in which the game was decided in the opposing team's final at-bat. . . . David Segui started the game in left field. Dwight Evans started in right against left-hander David Wells.

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