Infielder Gutierrez goes to Padres, completing trade for Lefferts

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA — ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Infielder Ricky Gutierrez has been sent to the San Diego Padres to complete the trade that brought left-hander Craig Lefferts to the Orioles.

The Orioles had sent right-hander Erik Shullstrom (5-8 at Double-A Hagerstown) to the Padres along with a player to be named in exchange for Lefferts.


Gutierrez, once considered one of the jewels of the Orioles' farm system, hit .253, with no home runs and 41 RBI at Triple-A Rochester. Primarily a shortstop, he played most of the season (73 of 125 games) at second base.

On the Orioles' depth chart, Gutierrez had fallen behind Manny Alexander at shortstop and would have been exposed in the expansion draft to stock the two new National League teams this winter. Alexander almost certainly will be one of the 15 players the Orioles will be allowed to protect.


Lefferts, who makes his American League debut against the California Angels in the final game of the West Coast trip tomorrow, most likely figures into the Orioles' plans. He is 34 years old, and his contract includes team options for each of the next two years.

Scarsone called up

As a precautionary measure, the Orioles called up infielder Steve Scarsone before last night's game.

The move was made because Bill Ripken is still sidelined with a slight strain to his left Achilles' tendon.

Ripken is on a day-to-day basis and could return to the lineup this weekend, but manager Johnny Oates preferred not to take any chances.

"It just gives us some backup," said Oates. "We can afford that luxury now [with the rosters expanded to 40], so why not do it here?

"If we pinch run for [Leo] Gomez and something happens to [Tim] Hulett, we don't have to have [Jeff] Tackett play third base in a pennant race or run Billy out there on one foot."

Scarsone, 26, who was with the Phillies from May 14 to June 4 (2-for-13, .154 in seven games), was obtained in the trade for Juan Bell last month. He is primarily a second baseman and figures to play only in an emergency.


Ripken was injured while scoring from second base in the seventh inning of Tuesday night's 5-1 win over the Oakland Athletics.

He left the game immediately and remained in the clubhouse, taking ice teatments, throughout Wednesday's 2-1 win.

"He [Ripken] is OK, but he's not 100 percent yet," said Oates. "He might be ready by tomorrow [today]."

In 112 games in the International League this year, Scarsone hit .270, with 12 home runs and 60 RBI. At Rochester he hit .256 in 23 games, with one home run and 12 RBI.

For Scarsone, the timing for the call-up was perfect. He's from Anaheim, so his return to the big leagues was also a homecoming.

"My parents were excited about it," he said.


Williamson returns

The Orioles added a second player to their active roster yesterday, when Mark Williamson came off the disabled list.

The move was somewhat of a surprise since Williamson had been thought to be lost for the season.

But after working out in Seattle and Oakland, Williamson reported substantial improvement.

"After I visited Dr. [James] Andrews [Aug. 25], he told me to shut it down for a week or two, but it had been 10 days since I threw," said Williamson.

"I played a little catch in Seattle the first day [last Friday] and threw off the mound two days later. It felt OK and I played some more catch and then let it out the last day in Oakland [Wednesday]."


After that workout, Williamson informed Oates he was ready to return, but he realizes he's unlikely to see much game action.

"Realistically, if I'm going to get any work, it would have to be in a blowout," he said. "I'd be really, really surprised if he [Oates] ran me out there in a dire situation right now."

Hoiles still hurting

Catcher Chris Hoiles admitted last night that he still has some pain in his right wrist, broken by an errant pitch from Tim Leary June 21.

"It usually hurts afterward but sometimes during the games, too," said Hoiles. "Sometimes it feels like I don't have a top [right] hand when I'm swinging -- like it just collapses."

Since returning from the disabled list Aug. 18, Hoiles is hitting .229 (11-for-48) with one home run and four RBI over 14 games.


Asked if more rest might aid his recovery, Hoiles indicated that would have to wait for the off-season.

"I'm sure if I took three or four days off a week it would help," he said. "But I can't do that now, I'll wait for the off-season."