Manager Lopes off to hot start in Arizona Orioles winter notebook

Though the winter baseball season is just beginning in earnest, players and coaches in the Orioles' system have wasted no time making an impact, particularly in Arizona.

Orioles first-base coach Davey Lopes has guided the Tucson Javelinas to the best record in the Arizona Fall League, a developmental league, with a 20-6 mark through Thursday's games.


Lopes, who has interviewed for the managerial opening with the Houston Astros, has a team mostly composed of Houston prospects, and the Javelinas are one of two clubs in the league with a winning record.

Six Orioles prospects are on the Tucson roster, and one of them, first baseman Paul Carey, who had two stints with the Orioles while spending most of the year with Triple-A Rochester, leads the league in hitting with a .429 average.


Carey's four home runs are tied for third-best in the league, and his 20 RBIs are fifth. He was named the league's Player of the Week after hitting .520 (11-for-21) with one homer and seven RBIs last week.

Catcher Gregg Zaun, who spent most of 1993 with Double-A Bowie, is batting .467 but does not have enough at-bats to qualify for league leadership.

Pitcher Mike Oquist, who also spent time in Baltimore and Rochester last season, is 2-1 in five starts with an ERA of 4.56. John O'Donoghue suffered a lower lumbar strain in his back after making one start two weeks ago and will not pitch again this winter.


Relievers Kevin Ryan and Larry Shenk have had success in the Hawaii Winter League. Ryan is 1-1 with a 2.60 ERA for Honolulu, and Shenk has a 2.92 ERA in eight appearances for Hilo.

Latin America

Outfielder Damon Buford, reliever Brad Pennington and third baseman Leo Gomez, who missed most of the second half of the 1993 season with an injured wrist, head the list of five Orioles playing in Puerto Rico.

Buford was 1-for-12 in his first three games for Santurce, and Gomez was hitting .222 after three games. Pennington pitched one inning of relief for Mayaguez and picked up a save in his first week, walking three and striking out three.


Shortstop Manny Alexander was to play in his native Dominican Republic, and utility player Jack Voigt and pitchers Kevin McGehee and Jason Satre were scheduled to play in Venezuela.


Pitcher Jay Powell, the club's first pick in the June amateur draft, was to make his pro debut in the Australian League.