Oates mulls rotation options


OAKLAND, Calif. -- Manager Johnny Oates still is trying to find the most logical way to arrange the Orioles' pitching rotation for the rest of the season.

Going into yesterday's game, Oates' plan was for Mike Mussina, Ben McDonald and Jamie Moyer to each get six more starts. That left seven starts for Arthur Rhodes and Fernando Valenzuela.

But, in order for that plan to work, Oates needs somebody, possibly Moyer, to pitch once with only three days of rest. "And he [Moyer] hasn't done it before," said Oates, "so he's a little unsure."

McDonald, Rhodes and Valenzuela will pitch the three-game series against Seattle that opens tonight. Beyond that, Oates has not yet decided.

"Those off-days [the next three Thursdays] came at a bad time for the rotation," said Oates. "We'll have to wait and see if somebody has a low pitch outing and can come back after three days -- but that's got to happen at the right time."

The two most logical candidates to pitch on three days are Moyer, who generally does not stay beyond 100 pitches, or Rhodes, who has pitched more than 6 2/3 innings only once all season.

Davis to be activated

First baseman Glenn Davis, who has spent the past 10 days on a rehabilitation assignment, will be activated by the Orioles in time for tonight's game.

However, Oates said he didn't know how, or when, the first baseman will play. "Right now, I have no idea," said Oates.

"If the situation presents itself, I'll use him. We might need a right-handed pinch hitter, or there might be a spot for him to start. I just don't know."

.500 and better

The Orioles' Single-A Albany (Ga.) team was the only one of six teams in the club's minor-league system that didn't post a winning record this year. The Polecats lost their last four games to finish 67-67.

The other five farm teams all finished above .500 and three of them will be in postseason play. Triple-A Rochester won the International League's Eastern Division; Double-A Bowie finished third; and Single-A Frederick won the second-half title in the Northern Division of the Carolina League.

ERA champs galore

The Orioles' minor-league system came close to having three league ERA champions.

Kevin McGehee, who is now with the Orioles, led the Triple-A International League with a 2.96 ERA, and John Lombardi, TC seventh-round pick in last June's amateur draft, topped the Single-A Gulf Coast League with an 0.94 mark.

Bowie's Rick Krivda was second in the Double-A Eastern League with a 3.08 ERA, trailing Binghamton's Denny Harringer, who finished at 2.95. Another Bowie pitcher, Jimmy Dedrick, was in position to win the title with a 2.54 ERA, but he was promoted to Rochester before his last start and was 5 1/3 innings short of qualifying.

Poor A's

Yesterday's loss to the Orioles concluded the A's worst homestand in more than 11 years. They had an identical 1-8 record in June 1982.

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