When the Baltimore Orioles last saw pitcher Scott Kamieniecki, the 35-year-old veteran was headed to Class AAA Rochester three weeks ago after agreeing to a demotion, with one last chance to resurrect his career. Today, the Orioles recalled Kamieniecki and assigned him to the bullpen.
Kamieniecki was to arrive tonight and be available in the bullpen for Tuesday's 4:05 p.m. doubleheader, which was necessitated by tonight's rainout.
Kamieniecki fills the roster spot of right-handed reliever Mike Fetters, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right elbow. Fetters felt a twinge in his elbow during Sunday's 11-7 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. He will be examined Tuesday in Baltimore by team orthopedist Michael Jacobs.
"From what I understand, it will be either one week or four to six weeks [Fetters will be out], depending on what's wrong with him," Manager Ray Miller said.
Kamieniecki made his third -- and by far most impressive -- start for Rochester on Saturday, pitching eight innings and allowing three hits and two earned runs, with three walks and two strikeouts. He also reported no problems with his back. His previous start had been cut short by stiffness in his lower back.
"He had all four pitches working well [Saturday]," General Manager Frank Wren said.
Miller hopes Kamieniecki will shore up a bullpen that has an 8.08 ERA since May 10, including 10 earned runs allowed in Sunday's loss.
"He'll be in the bullpen now until we see what he does," Miller said. "I just want somebody to come in and throw it over the plate. That would be a start."
Kamieniecki made two disastrous starts for the Orioles in April, posting a 23.40 ERA in two losses. He was sent down on May 18 -- a move Kamieniecki had to approve -- with the understanding he would make only three starts.
The Orioles had until later this week to make a decision on Kamieniecki. With Miller pleased with the progress of Jason Johnson in the starting rotation, it had become more likely the club would release Kamieniecki, eating his $3.15 million salary. But Fetters's injury left them with an open spot in the bullpen.
"He was due to come up anyway," Miller said. "We'll see where we're at [with Fetters] two days from now."
Fetters, 34, had elbow surgery in 1993. He said he felt a twinge while warming up Sunday, but did not say anything about it.
Orioles Notes: Left-handed reliever Arthur Rhodes, who has been dealing with a stiff back the last few days, would have been available for tonight's game had it been played.
Rhodes pitched with the stiff back Saturday and walked the bases loaded in the ninth inning of an eventual 7-6 victory. He told Miller before Sunday's game that he wouldn't be available. As it turned out, the Orioles could have used him -- their bullpen gave up 10 earned runs in four innings Sunday.
"Five minutes before the game he came in and told me he can't pitch," Miller said. "When you're kind of short [in the bullpen], that kind of baffles everything. But it's a fact. If you can't pitch, you can't pitch. . . .
"But it's not unheard of if one reliever doesn't have it, for the next guy to get somebody out. It should be an assumption a manager can make every once in a while." . . .
Orioles catcher Charles Johnson and first baseman-outfielder Jeff Conine, two of the most popular players in Marlins history, had their returns to Pro Player Stadium delayed by the rainout. Both were on the Marlins' 1997 World Series championship team, and Conine was an original Marlin with the 1993 expansion team. . . .
The Orioles entered the game with the same number of wins (21) as the Marlins, but with a payroll ($84 million) more than four times that of the Marlins ($18 million). . . .
In their 21 wins, the Orioles' ERA is 3.20; in their 34 losses, their ERA is 7.65. . . .
The Marlins today signed former Orioles outfielder Jerome Walton to a minor league contract, assigning him to Class AAA Calgary.
CAPTION: Scott Kamieniecki wasn't too hot in two starts for the Orioles, so he now will be warming up in the bullpen.