Pitching prospects watch major chances slip away


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Several of the Orioles' top minor-league prospects, Scott Klingenbeck, Joe Borowski and Jimmy Haynes among them, have expressed concern that the strike is hurting their chances of making the team.

Manager Phil Regan agrees.

In a normal year, Regan said, a young pitcher gets plenty of opportunity to show his stuff. Live batting practice, bullpen work, exhibition games.

But this is not a normal year.

"They may not get those chances," Regan said, "because there won't be any time. The longer it goes on, the harder it will get for those guys.

"When it comes down to making decisions, we're going to have to go based on what we've seen."

Klingenbeck is not being seen. Nor is Borowski, or Haynes.

Higuera arrives

Regan expected to hold a workout with ex-Milwaukee Brewers left-hander Ted Higuera yesterday, but Higuera didn't arrive in Tampa until last night. Regan hopes he will throw today.

"He's agreed to stick around and throw for us four or five times," Regan said.

Higuera, 36, is coming back from a torn rotator cuff and is being given a look by the Orioles because of his showing in Mexico in winter ball.

Snake in the grass

Yesterday's intrasquad game between the Orioles' Triple-A and Double-A players was interrupted briefly by a 3-foot black snake, which had taken refuge in short right field.

Right fielder Sean Hugo gave the snake a wide berth as a couple of groundskeepers were called in for the capture and, with the strategic use of a rake, removed the snake and threw it into the woods nearby.

"Did they kill it?" Regan asked.

No, he was told.

"It'll be back tomorrow, then."

Intrasquad update

A team managed by Triple-A manager Marv Foley hammered the charges of bench coach Chuck Cottier, 7-2. Foley leads the intrasquad series, two games to one.

Regan, saying his players' enthusiasm was subpar yesterday, decided to cancel today's intrasquad game.

Tomorrow, Regan will manage against Foley. To this point, he has called the shots for both teams.

Around the horn

Regan named a handful of nonroster players who have a shot at making the big-league club in the event the major-leaguers ever get here: pitchers Frank Seminara, John DeSilva, John Shea and Mark Lee, and infielder Jeff Huson. . . . Colleges are filling the Orioles' exhibition schedule: Eckerd College on March 9, the University of Tampa on March 12 (at Al Lang Stadium), and the University of Florida on March 21. The Florida game is tentatively scheduled, because Major League Baseball hasn't canceled any Orioles exhibition games beyond March 13. If the strike continues into the next week or so, more cancellations are

expected. . . . Junior Noboa, a major-league veteran signed to a minor-league contract, has hurdled his visa trouble and may arrive in the United States on Monday. However, Noboa may work out for several days in Sarasota before joining his Triple-A teammates in St. Petersburg. . . . Two former Orioles prospects nTC will be in the starting lineup for the Philadelphia Phillies in their spring debut today, against the Cincinnati Reds. Brent Miller, 24, who played at Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Rochester last season, will hit fifth and play first. Outfielder Jason Alstead, 28, who played at Rochester in 1993, will bat sixth.

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