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News » Baltimore Orioles Inside Pitch 2009-04-11

Baltimore Orioles Inside Pitch 2009-04-11

Baltimore Orioles Inside Pitch 2009-04-11
Danys Baez prepared this winter to crack the Orioles' question-filled rotation. But as spring training came to a close, Baez was resigned to the fact that he'd be pitching out of the bullpen again.

Initial disappointment has turned into elation -- both for the Orioles and Baez, who struck out four batters in 1 2/3 innings of Friday's series-opening victory over Tampa Bay.

"He was reluctant to throw the split and the curveball (in spring training)," manager Dave Trembley said of Baez, who missed the 2008 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

"Once I called him in (to my office) and told him he wasn't going to be a starter, he was throwing in the mid-90s in spring training, with some sink. It's worked out for him, and it's certainly been a real shot in the arm for us."

Baez is filling a role that could prove crucial for the Orioles. With a rotation full of uncertainty, the Orioles bullpen likely will be taxed early and often by prolonged use.

Because Baez was stretched out in preparation of joining the rotation, he gives Trembley the luxury of being capable to pitch multiple innings.

Trembley said Friday he was uncomfortable with allowing Baez to go back out to the mound for a third inning.

Once a closer, Baez has lost some zip on his fastball. But his willingness to go back to the pitches he was fearful of throwing has given him new life.

ORIOLES 5, RAYS 4: The Rays scored three runs in the final two innings, but the Orioles held on to win their second consecutive series opener. The top five hitters in the Orioles order combined to go 8-for-19 with five runs scored and four runs batted in.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 11, 2009

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