After making wholesale and expensive changes to their bullpen over the winter, the Orioles resumed work on it yesterday. And the project isn't finished.
The Orioles placed Danys Baez on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right forearm and released Todd Williams. They recalled Jim Hoey from Triple-A Norfolk and purchased Cory Doyne's contract, and both appeared in last night's game.
Jim Duquette, vice president of baseball operations, suggested that the Orioles could make other moves during the upcoming road trip to Arizona and San Diego.
"We'll have to see how this looks, but we've got some other thoughts and ideas we've been kicking around," he said. "There may be something we do either before we go to San Diego or when we're out in San Diego."
Signed to a three-year, $19 million deal over the winter, Baez has allowed runs in eight of his past 13 appearances. Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Augie Ojeda hit a two-run homer off him Friday night.
"I've been working too much, doing mechanics, throwing bullpens, being in games, stuff like that," said Baez, who has surrendered 15 earned runs in his past 11 2/3 innings, leaving his ERA at 6.52. "It looks like I have some kind of tendinitis in my forearm and I'm going to take a rest. Right now, our bullpen needs more guys in it, not less."
Baez's ineffectiveness prevented manager Sam Perlozzo from using him as the eighth-inning setup man.
"I think it's going to be better for me and for the team if I go on the DL for 15 days and come back 100 percent healthy and not concerned about anything," Baez said.
Williams was designated for assignment before Opening Night, and the Orioles outrighted him to Norfolk. They purchased his contract May 5, but he went 0-2 with a 7.53 ERA in 14 1/3 innings, and opponents were batting .328 against him.
In his most recent appearance on Friday, Williams was the losing pitcher after giving up a three-run homer to Orlando Hudson in the eighth inning.
Williams tried to convince the Orioles to put him on the disabled list, and they confirmed that he has a tender forearm. But they needed to clear room on the 40-man roster for Doyne. "It's not anything that's going to affect him for the rest of the season," Duquette said.
The Orioles did not try to pass Williams through waivers. "We thought, rather than have him go down to Triple-A, we'd give him an opportunity to sign somewhere else," Duquette said. "He took it professionally."
Hoey, 24, was the organization's minor league Pitcher of the Year in 2006 and appeared in 12 games with the Orioles, allowing 11 runs and 14 hits in 9 2/3 innings.
"I think it's going to be a lot better [this year], especially since last year I was tired toward the end," Hoey said. "I was trying to sling my slider up there and just trying to get my ball over the plate. This year's going to be totally different."
Hoey began this season at Double-A Bowie and didn't permit a run in 18 2/3 innings, recording 14 saves in 20 games and striking out 28. He was promoted to Norfolk June 1 and had one save and a 3.86 ERA in six appearances for the Tides. Pitching in the ninth inning last night, Hoey allowed one hit, two walks and three runs in two-thirds of an inning.
Doyne, 25, was signed as a minor league free agent on Nov. 2 and made his major league debut last night in the ninth inning. He led the International League with 19 saves and posted a 1.99 ERA, with opponents batting .132 against him in 29 games.
"I can't really think of a word to describe it other than 'amazing,' " said Doyne, who's been in professional baseball for eight years. "I actually only made one call, to my mom, and she's taken care of everything else."
Loewen surgery 'according to plan'
Adam Loewen expects to begin throwing by December after undergoing surgery on Thursday to repair a fracture in his left elbow. He should be ready to pitch by spring training.
"Dr. [James] Andrews came up to me after the surgery and told me everything went according to plan," Loewen said. "I'm kind of relieved. The five weeks of not knowing whether I was going to need surgery or not was kind of excruciating for me, just not knowing what the future was. Now, after meeting with Dr. Andrews and getting everything set, and how comfortable he felt with going ahead and doing the surgery, I felt the same level of comfort."