Orioles Notebook

Prospects Olson, Liz Sent Down

By Jorge Arangure Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 6, 2007

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., March 5 -- The first cuts of the spring by the Baltimore Orioles resulted in demotions for two of their top pitching prospects. Garrett Olson and Radhames Liz, along with pitcher Freddy Deza and outfielder Cory Keylor, were reassigned to the team's minor league camp in Sarasota, Fla.

Liz allowed two runs in two innings and Olson allowed one run in two innings in Sunday's win against the New York Mets.

"I liked them a lot," Orioles Manager Sam Perlozzo said of Liz and Olson. "It was the first time I saw both guys. I heard conflicting things actually, and I was really pleased when I saw them. I think they both got good futures in the big leagues. There is not enough innings here to get them going, but we need to get them stretched out in case we need them later."

It's possible that the left-handed Olson could be called up to the majors later this spring.

"They told me to keep doing what I'm doing and keep the ball down in the zone and keep working on every pitch, stay healthy and see what I can do down there," Olson said. "I felt like I was a part of this group. I made a lot of friends here. I felt I got a lot of positive influence from people. I learned a lot."

Liz said he was told to work on his slider.

"I had a little trouble with my slider, my change-up was okay, but I don't think I did that badly," Liz said. "I don't know why, but [my slider] wasn't breaking like it usually does. I have as much confidence in my slider as I do in my fastball."

Get a (New) Grip

Adam Loewen, who pitched two scoreless innings on Monday, striking out five in the Orioles' 5-3 win against the Florida Marlins, might become more fearsome because of a new curveball he learned from teammate Erik Bedard. Loewen said Bedard taught him to change his grip on the curveball while they were playing catch.

"He throws a pretty hard breaking curveball and as soon as I tried throwing it, I saw more break," Loewen said. "I felt comfortable with it and took it right into the game." . . .

Orioles pitcher Jaret Wright said he is not suffering any significant injury but just normal spring soreness. On Sunday, Perlozzo said Wright pitched only one inning because his arm was not yet in shape. Wright has previously had shoulder problems.

"There are things in the past I've dealt with," Wright said. "I try to use spring to the fullest advantage now. It's not just go out there and wing it every five days. You've got to build on stuff and go from there. It's a slower process now."

Hitting Stars Aubrey Huff and Ramon Hernandez each had two hits in Monday's 5-3 win against the Florida Marlins, the Orioles' fourth consecutive victory. Kevin Millar's double in the second inning, his first hit of the spring, drove in two runs. Up Next vs. Cardinals at Fort Lauderdale, 1:05 p.m.

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