Archive for Monday, April 23, 2001

Baseball Notes: Tribe bolsters bullpen with lefty

April 23, 2001


— The Indians called up 38-year-old lefty Rich Rodriguez from Akron Sunday to be the second left-hander in the bullpen. Rodriguez prepped for the opportunity by making four Double-A appearances, allowing no runs, three hits, no walks and striking out four in five innings.

Until now, the only left-handed reliever at manager Charlie Manuel's disposal was Ricardo Rincon. With no other southpaw in the bullpen, using Rincon always presented a risk, because there was nobody to back him up.

Before being signed by the Tribe on April 8, Rodriguez was in spring training with the Mets, who released him just before the start of the season. Last year, he went 0-1 with a 7.78 earned-run average in 32 appearances with New York and 0-1 with a 3.05 ERA in 14 outings at Triple-A Norfolk.

In parts of 10 major-league seasons, Rodriguez is 26-18 with seven saves and a 3.75 ERA with the Padres, Cardinals, Giants and Mets.

If Rodriguez stumbles, the Tribe is prepared to turn to Tim Byrdak, Paul Spoljaric or Scott Radinsky, who is recovering from surgery at the Tribe's extended spring training program in Winter Haven.

To make room for Rodriguez on the roster, the Tribe optioned pitcher Jake Westbrook to Buffalo.

Tigers It's likely that Dean Palmer's sore shoulder won't allow him to play third base for the next couple of months, which has opened the door for Jose Macias.

The young infielder started his seventh straight game at third Sunday, and manager Phil Garner said the job is his for a while.

Garner always has liked the enthusiasm Macias brings to a game. The problem has been finding a way to get Macias into the lineup.

Macias is hitting .371, but playing third base is a challenge because his background was as a second baseman.

Angels Things can't get any worse for the Anaheim Angels today. They will not fall deeper into the offensive abyss they have been stuck in for 10 games. They will not lose another baseball game today.

The Angels are off today.

If ever there was a team in need of a break, it is the Angels, who were steamrolled Sunday by the Seattle Mariners, who completed their first-ever four-game sweep of the Angels with a 5-0 victory before 44,192 in Safeco Field.

The Angels have lost eight of their last nine games.

Cleveland has won six consecutive games entering a three-game series against the Angels that begins Tuesday at Jacobs Field.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.