Orioles' ups and downs


No. 8 at No. 7 -- UP -- Cal Ripken bats seventh for four straight games -- one more than in his previous 15 seasons -- and goes 7-for-15 with a jack and three RBIs. Had been 9-for-44 in his previous 12 games batting fifth and sixth.

Doug Drabek -- UP -- Followed April washout with a stand-up May. Without Drabek performing as de facto No. 2 starter, Orioles would be out of it for good. As it is, recovery is possible.

Chris Hoiles -- DOWN -- Ray Miller looks to have anointed Lenny Webster as his starting catcher. Improved defensively, Hoiles is hitting .213 (49-for-230) with six home runs since suffering knee injury last June. Recovering his power could jolt a stop-and-start attack.

Joggin' Jeffrey Hammonds -- UP -- Healthy, motivated and in the lineup, Hammonds is playing up to the dreaded "P-word."

Triple-A chaos -- DOWN -- Hey, Rochester! It's May 31, do you know who your healthy arms are? Last week's Nerio Rodriguez debacle is another blemish on an organization with little feel for player development.

Trade talks -- DOWN -- Mike Piazza? Never got close. John Olerud, Carlos Baerga and Dave Mlicki? Not enough value. Randy Johnson? Never happen. Meanwhile, discussions appear to have stirred a sleepy clubhouse. Part of the plan?

Pub Date: 5/31/98

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