Hoey Takes A Winding Road Up

By Jorge Arangure Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 24, 2006

BALTIMORE, Aug. 23 -- The Baltimore Orioles continued their year-long shuffling of the bullpen on Wednesday when they recalled right-handed reliever James Hoey from Class AA Bowie, with only a bit more than a week until the rosters expand on Sept. 1. To make room for Hoey, the Orioles optioned reliever Chris Britton to Bowie. Hoey, 23, has combined to go 2-1 with 33 saves and a 2.28 ERA with three Baltimore minor league teams this season.

"It was twofold," Orioles Manager Sam Perlozzo said. "We wanted to get an early look at Hoey and a chance to freshen up Britt a little bit."

Britton had a 2.47 ERA on Aug. 2, but he allowed runs in three of his next five appearances as his ERA ballooned to 3.61. Perlozzo said Britton would be recalled in September. Perlozzo believes Britton needs to improve his curveball.

Hoey's rise through the Baltimore minor league system has been peculiar. A 13th-round pick in the 2003 draft, Hoey began the season in Class A Delmarva and then was moved to Class A Frederick before settling in at Bowie.

"The only thing I was shooting for was perhaps Double-A," Hoey said. "That was my main concern -- trying to get on the 40-man [roster] to go to big league spring training. That's the only thing I was worried about."

Hoey, who relies on a mid-90s fastball and slider, said he doesn't think he'll be too nervous when he makes his debut.

"I'm not a very emotional guy," he said. "I've been pitching my whole life. It's not new to me. It's going to be the same thing, over and over. It's going to be me and the catcher. I don't really hear anything when I'm out there."

To make room for Hoey on the 40-man roster, the Orioles designated Class AAA Ottawa reliever Eddy Rodriguez for assignment. Rodriguez will likely clear waivers and be reassigned to Ottawa.

UP NEXT Today vs. Twins 7:05 p.m. Benson (10-9, 4.63) vs. Bonser (2-4, 5.51) Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980 Tomorrow vs. Devil Rays 7:05 p.m. Cabrera (6-8, 4.94) vs. Hammel (0-1, 10.80) Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980

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