O'Donoghue flourishes, with help of Moyer
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- John O'Donoghue led the International League with 62 strikeouts in 65 2/3 innings, a feat he attributed to his changeup and conversations with new Oriole Jamie Moyer.
Moyer, in his 10th season, served as mentor to O'Donoghue, a fourth-year pro. "I can relate to him because he's left-handed," said O'Donoghue. "We throw similar, although he has a much better changeup. We're both breaking-ball pitchers."
O'Donoghue, who came up to Triple-A last year with the reputation as a curveball/changeup specialist, has developed his fastball and slider. Pitching coach Steve Luebber says the four pitches have made O'Donoghue less predictable.
That's the message Moyer also delivered before his promotion.
"Jamie and I spent a lot of time on the bench, watching the game," said O'Donoghue, 24. He said Moyer, who left the Red Wings with a 6-0 record and league-leading 1.67 ERA, showed him how hitters set up for particular pitches, and how to counter that. "Jamie helped me tremendously," he said.
The advice helped O'Donoghue improve to 5-0 with a 3-0 victory over Toledo on Thursday, when he struck out nine in seven innings.
* Red Wings pitchers have dropped their ERA nearly a full run and moved from seventh in the league to first at 3.59 after O'Donoghue's shutout. Anthony Telford has shown the most progress, allowing two runs in 10 innings.
* Paul Carey's promotion cleared the way for Mel Wearing to play first base -- until Glenn Davis joins the team. Wearing was batting .236 with five home runs and 24 RBI.
* Out 11 games, Jeffrey Hammonds returned to the lineup Friday night as the designated hitter.
* If the New York state legislature doesn't approve funding for a new stadium for the Red Wings by the end of its session in June, team president Elliot Curwin said he will consider moving the club. And the stadium being built in Bowie could be its new home.
NOTES: Second baseman Tommy Hinzo hit in 13 straight games going into Friday night. Hinzo is second in the league with 14 steals. . . . Outfielder Mark Smith's hitting streak ended at 20 games. Smith was fourth in the league with a .345 average. . . . Scott Coolbaugh hit two home runs Thursday and has six of his seven homers in his past 11 games. . . . Mark Parent is tied with former Oriole Sam Horn, now with the Charlotte Knights, for the league lead in home runs with 10.
When the staff of the Double-A Bowie Baysox surveyed the roster at the start of spring training, one shortcoming was immediately evi
dent: the lack of an experienced shortstop.
Tim Holland, who had played third and first bases and left field during his six years in the Orioles system, was volunteered for the job. He wasn't enthralled.
"I thought why in the world would you want to be a shortstop in an organization that has Cal Ripken and Manny Alexander?" he said.
"I wasn't really excited about it and moped around. But a couple of the coaches took me aside and changed my mind. Now, I think it's a good move. Shortstops are more in need than third basemen."
At 6-3 and almost 200 pounds, Holland is a slightly scaled down version of Ripken.
Yet, according to Baysox manager Don Buford, "Tim moving there has been the biggest plus for the ballclub. He's shown he can handle it."
The shift hasn't affected his hitting. With a 15-game batting streak, Holland is taking aim on the .270 to .280 level that probably will move him up the organizational ladder.
Holland's best offensive year was 1990 when he hit .302 for the Single-A Frederick Keys.
NOTES: Tickets for Thursday's 7:05 exhibition game against Rochester are $5. Gates open at 6 p.m. . . . Tommy Taylor has made seven straight scoreless appearances spanning 10 1/3 innings. . . . Gregg Zaun has hit .391 in the last 17 games.
Keys: Call-ups pitch in
FREDERICK -- Injuries have forced the Single-A Frederick Keys to scuffle for pitching as they pursue Wilmington for the first-half title in the Northern Division of the Carolina League.
Right-hander Vaughn Eshelman is the latest Keys pitcher to be placed on the disabled list with arm trouble, joining Scott Klingenbeck.
To plug the gap, right-handers Lee Cusey and Brian Sackinsky have been promoted from Albany (Ga.).
Cusey, acquired from the Oakland A's organization last winter, has appeared in one game, pitching 2 2/3 scoreless innings.
Sackinsky was 3-4 with a 3.20 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 50 2/3 innings at Albany.
NOTES: Catcher Cesar Devarez returned from the DL, but played in only one game before respraining his ankle. . . . Former big leaguer Brian Dubois continues to excel and is rumored on his way up. Dubois is 6-1 with a league-leading 1.21 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 52 innings.
Suns: Boston is on a roll
HAGERSTOWN -- D. J. Boston was drafted on the 40th round by the Toronto Blue Jays three years ago, but is hitting like a No. 1 pick.
The younger brother of Colorado Rockies outfielder Daryl Boston, the 6-7, 220-pound first baseman has sizzled this month, batting .375 in 26 games with 16 RBI.
NOTES: Jose Silva, the ace of the pitching staff, is expected to return from the disabled list this week. . . . The Suns recently had a nine-game losing streak, the worst in their history.