Orioles Notebook

Cabrera: No Question He's Better

By Jorge Arangure Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 9, 2007

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla., March 8 -- Daniel Cabrera turned the tables on a reporter who approached him Thursday after his outing, managing to get in the first question himself.

"How did I look?" he said.

For the second consecutive spring outing, Cabrera looked terrific. Combining a breaking ball with a powerful fastball, he allowed one hit and struck out four in three scoreless innings in an 8-7 victory over the New York Mets, who fielded their primary lineup with the exception of Carlos Delgado.

In five scoreless innings this spring, Cabrera has allowed just two hits and, more important, no walks.

"I've started to see the things I worked on in the Dominican," Cabrera said. "I work a lot with my mechanics and I threw a lot of bullpens. I feel more consistent now."

Though it's early, the young trio of Cabrera, Erik Bedard and Adam Loewen has pitched 12 scoreless innings this spring and given up just four hits.

Cabrera said his success is due in part to pitching coach Leo Mazzone.

"I know what I'm doing now when I'm working with Leo," Cabrera said. "Last year by that time, I was at the [World Baseball Classic] and I didn't have a chance to work with Leo. Now we've worked since the first day of spring training. He feels comfortable and I feel comfortable, too."

Cabrera also has improved his mechanics. He used to finish his delivery toward first base, but now he finishes toward home plate.

Donachie Homers

Catcher Adam Donachie, acquired this offseason in the Rule 5 draft, hit a three-run home run Thursday against Mets starter Orlando Hernandez, the Orioles' first home run since Chris Gomez hit one in the first exhibition game March 1.

"Did this really just happen?" Donachie said he thought to himself.

Donachie is quickly gaining favor in the organization, first because of his work behind the plate and more recently because of his hitting.

"He looks better every time I see him," Orioles Manager Sam Perlozzo said.

The Orioles must keep Donachie on the 25-man roster or work out an agreement with Kansas City to prevent him from being returned to the Royals.

Donachie said he hoped the Orioles could work out a trade so he could stay with Baltimore.

"I love the organization," Donachie said. "I love the guys that are here." . . .

Rookie reliever James Hoey, projected as a future setup man, pitched a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts to get the save. Hoey, who last year spent several weeks with the Orioles, likely will be the closer at Class AAA Norfolk.

Injury Update Kevin Millar, who fouled a ball off his left foot on Wednesday, was held out of the lineup. Catcher Paul Bako (strained oblique) likely will get in a game this week. Adam Stern (strained oblique) is probably still a few days away. Up Next vs. Nationals at Fort Lauderdale, 1 p.m., MASN

© 2007 The Washington Post Company