Back from DL, Farrar is starting to...

ROCHESTER, NEW YORK — Back from DL, Farrar is starting to make impression

Before Terry Farrar was placed on the disabled list June 4, his arm and his ERA were hurting.


Three weeks later, the left-hander from St. Louis began taking a major step forward for the Bowie Baysox.

Now, no one in the Orioles' minor-league system is pitching more effectively.


Farrar has been sensational over the past month, winning five straight decisions -- four of them starts -- before losing last night, 3-2, to Binghamton.

His most recent efforts earned him Eastern League Pitcher of the Week honors for July 19-25 and he entered last night's start against Binghamton with a 2.91 ERA, third best in the league.

"Terry applies himself as a learner," said Baysox manager Don Buford. "He pays attention to the opposition and is a student of what's going on. That tells me he is on the right track."

Farrar began the season as a spot starter, the fifth member of a rotation filled with other members who had better command of their pitches.

The results were inauspicious -- 1-2 record with a 4.66 ERA through his first 10 appearances, eight of them starts. In the final two outings -- with his shoulder ailing -- he was atrocious.

"It was really getting sore," said Farrar. "I was taken out in the second inning the last time [before the disabled list]. Tendinitis had set in the front of the shoulder and the upper muscles were weak in the back. I had no strength there."

After almost four weeks of physical therapy, the shoulder has responded, Farrar's stuff has returned and all is well with the pitcher who led the Carolina League with 182 1/3 innings while compiling an 11-10 record for Frederick last year.

Not that he is a southpaw version of Roger Clemens. Farrar depends on location, not power, and a four-pitch repertoire.


"The key is that he can throw off-speed pitches for strikes in fastball situations," said Buford. "He's the kind of guy who's a sleeper to move up to Triple-A next year."

"I just try to throw strikes and make our guys field the ball," he said. "I don't blow guys away. I keep thinking 'what's he [the batter] thinking.' I have a lot of confidence in the changeup."

NOTES: 1B Brent Miller was hospitalized last week after a cut on his left hand developed an infection. He will be out for an unspecified period. . . . The Baysox started the season with a committee of closers, but Rafael Chaves has emerged as the main man. He has not pitched more than one inning in 10 straight appearances. Over eight innings, he has permitted only one run and three hits while gaining six saves.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- A reminder that Mark Parent's value is behind the plate, not at it, seems to have sparked the catcher's offense as well as his defense.

"Two weeks ago, he was down, he wasn't hitting the ball very well," manager Bob Miscik said. "We had a talk about defense. That's what it will take for him to be a major-league backup. Offense is a bonus."

And Parent has proceeded to bat .366 with four doubles, two homers and 11 RBI in his past 12 games, as well as catch some of his best games.


Parent threw out five straight base runners over two games to improve his efficiency for the season to 41 percent.

Miscik might have inadvertently contributed to Parent's belief that he had to produce runs by batting the catcher fourth. He had twice been International League Batter of the Week (April 25-May 1 and May 23-29).

"I think when he was hitting cleanup he felt like he had to produce offensively," said Miscik, who dropped Parent in the order July 4.

* Chito Martinez was 24-for-58 with nine doubles, four homers and 18 RBI in his past 16 games before Friday.

NOTES: Kevin McGehee leads active IL pitchers with a 2.32 ERA. The right-hander has allowed two or fewer runs in eight of his 15 starts. . . . Mike Bielecki recorded his fourth straight victory, 12-3, over Pawtucket on Tuesday. Bielecki is 4-0 with a 2.67 ERA in those starts after going 0-1 with a 6.55 ERA in his first two starts.

Patti Singer


Keys: Goodwin is MVP


FREDERICK -- The Carolina League All-Star Game became a showcase for the Keys last week.

Outfielder Curtis Goodwin was the Most Valuable Player in the game, a 6-3 victory for the Northern Division at Winston-Salem's Ernie Shore Field.

Goodwin, one of the fastest players in the minors, hit a two-run homer to give the North a 5-3 lead, walked and ran a routine single into a double in five plate appearances.

Jimmy Haynes, a late addition to the North squad because of promotions, was the winning pitcher with two scoreless innings of relief and Maryland-born pitcher Rick Forney went one scoreless inning.


NOTES: Frederick had its largest crowd of the season -- 9,975 -- when the team mascot, Keyote, was saluted last week. Overall, the Keys have drawn 253,977, first in the league. . . . OF Basilio Ortiz suffered a mild concussion when he was hit in the head by a pitch from Salem's Dan Jones, but he was expected to miss only a few games. . . . The Keys lead the second-half race in the North, but first-half winner Wilmington will have the choice of sites for the opening game of the best-of-three division playoffs.

Kent Baker

Suns: A striking figure


HAGERSTOWN -- Jose Silva has established himself as one of the top pitching prospects in the Toronto organization.

The Suns right-hander tied the franchise record (Bob Konopa, 1983) with a 14-strikeout game against the Charleston Rainbows last week and equaled his own record by fanning seven straight.


In almost two full seasons, Silva, 19, has 203 strikeouts in 159 innings while walking only 52.

With a fastball above 90 mph and excellent control, he has a 7-4 record and 2.60 ERA for the Suns despite missing almost a month with a hyperextended knee.

NOTES: SS Eddie Zosky went hitless in his first nine at-bats on rehabilitation before getting a single. He was 1-for-13 in his first three games. . . . With the fences moved in in right and right-center field, the team has quadrupled its home run output over last season at Municipal Stadium (44 to 11).

Kent Baker