Former Indians pitcher Cabrera signed to deal

The Baltimore Sun

The Orioles have agreed to terms with former Cleveland Indians reliever Fernando Cabrera on a minor league contract for the rest of the season.

Cabrera, a 25-year-old right-hander whose main asset is his powerful arm, is expected to report to Triple-A Norfolk and be called up in September.

The Indians designated Cabrera for assignment Aug. 1 after he went 1-2 with a 5.61 ERA in 24 games. He was given his outright release Aug. 9, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays claimed him last week. Cabrera declined the waiver assignment.

Once news reached the Orioles, they made a contract offer to Cabrera, who hasn't pitched since July 26.

Andy MacPhail, president of baseball operations, has been negotiating with agent Pat Rooney, and they reached agreement yesterday.

Manager Dave Trembley is familiar with Cabrera, a minor league teammate of starter Jeremy Guthrie who pitched against Trembley's teams in the minors.

Cabrera appeared in 94 games with the Indians over parts of four seasons. Last year, he went 3-3 with a 5.19 ERA.

Cabrera got off to a hot start this season. He struck out 18 batters in 12 innings over six April games while posting a 1.50 ERA. But in eight May appearances, he allowed 10 earned runs in 7 2/3 innings, and opponents hit .400 against him.

Redman strives to stick around

Tike Redman made his sixth start for the Orioles since having his contract purchased from Norfolk on Aug. 9. He's appeared in nine games, an indication that the team wants to get an extended look at him while keeping an eye toward next season.

Redman, who entered last night having hit safely in six of seven games in which he had batted, began the year with the independent Atlantic League's York Revolution after spending parts of five seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He's trying to force his way into the Orioles' plans for 2008.

"I feel like I always have something to prove," said Redman, a career .277 hitter with the Pirates. "I just want to keep playing and proving and showing people that I belong and that I still believe in the stuff I did a long time ago, and I can help the team win."

Jay Payton, part of last night's bench, is scheduled to start both games of tonight's doubleheader.

Pitching conference

When Trembley met with left-hander Garrett Olson on Saturday, one day after the rookie's abbreviated start in Toronto that included more command problems, he asked why throwing strikes had suddenly become such a challenge.

Olson, who has walked 18 batters in 18 1/3 innings, noted that he's been nibbling too much.

Trembley responded: "I think that's an understatement. Nibbling? Throw the ball down the middle of the plate and let them hit it."

"I just gave it to him straight," Trembley said before last night's game. "He's got to throw strike one a whole lot more consistent. I think he's been pitching around the bats. Way too many deep counts. I'm not so sure he's not trying to fit in to what everybody thinks he should be instead of being what he is."

Olson, who will start Game 2 tonight, described the meeting as "very productive."

"Right now, it's just one of those transition phases," he said. "I had a similar thing happen in Triple-A at the beginning of the season. It's really just being comfortable out there, trusting your stuff and going right after hitters."

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