The Baltimore Orioles, whose game tonight against the Chicago White Sox was rained out, gave relief pitcher Ricky Bones his outright release to make room on the roster for right-handed pitcher Doug Linton.
The Orioles and White Sox will play a day-night doubleheader Saturday, with Linton scheduled to start the opener. Saturday's scheduled starter, Sidney Ponson, will pitch the night game so that he has more time to rest, Orioles Manager Ray Miller said. The rainout was the first at Oriole Park at Camden Yards since the 1997 season.
The White Sox will stay with their normal rotation, with right-hander John Snyder pitching the first game and left-hander Mike Sirotka the second.
Linton, who arrived from Class AAA Rochester today, rejoins the Orioles at Bones's expense. Bones, 30, had struggled since a stint on the disabled list July 2-17 because of a tired arm. He had lost some velocity and voiced his displeasure after being removed early in two starts after his return from the DL.
Miller said the Orioles attempted to trade Bones before the July 31 trade deadline and recently had passed him through waivers with no takers.
Releasing Bones "was one of the most difficult things in the world to do," Miller said. "He is such a quality kid and a great worker. . . . But statistically he wasn't getting the job done."
Bones was 0-3 with a 5.98 earned run average. Opponents were batting .322 against him. After the game was called following a delay of nearly two hours, Bones was told of his release and began packing the contents of his locker into a duffel bag. He shook hands with teammates and said goodbyes.
"I kind of had an idea" it was coming, Bones said. "You never want to think that way, but look around. They needed to make a move. That's their decision that [this] was the move. There is nothing I can say. I am upset and disappointed."
More Roster Decisions
It is possible the Orioles might make another roster move before Saturday's first game. First baseman Will Clark has not played since Aug. 13 because of a hyperextended left elbow that has not improved.
Clark has been available as a pinch hitter the past few games but cannot play the field because of his elbow. He was examined today by team orthopedist Michael Jacobs, but afterward Clark declined to comment on his condition.
"I doubt he will be ready to play" Saturday, Miller said. "We're going to sit down and have a serious talk and see if anything improved tonight, which it hasn't."
Meanwhile, Orioles General Manager Frank Wren said today he does not anticipate making any waiver trades, which would have to be completed before rosters expand on Sept. 1. Wren confirmed that the team placed Arthur Rhodes on revocable waivers, and that several teams put in claims on the left-handed reliever.
A trade was discussed with one team, but no deal was reached. Sources said that team was the Oakland Athletics.
"We're not trading Arthur," Wren said.
The Orioles had preliminary discussions earlier this season with Dan Horwits, Rhodes's agent, about a long-term contract. But talks have stalled, and Rhodes, who is making $2.2 million this year, likely will file for free agency at the end of the season. . . .
During a break in the rain tonight, the grounds crew pulled the tarp off the field and the Orioles honored relief pitcher Jesse Orosco for setting a new major league record by pitching in his 1,072nd game on Tuesday. Dennis Eckersley, whose record for games pitched was broken by Orosco, was on hand. The Orioles presented Orosco with one of his jerseys framed and autographed by the entire team.
Data: Chicago White Sox at Orioles (day-night doubleheader).
Times: 1:05, 7:05.
Site: Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Tickets: Available. Tickets from Friday night's rainout will be valid for admission to the 1:05 game.
TV (1:05 game): None.
TV (7:05 game): WBDC-50, WNUV-54.
Radio (both games): WTOP-1500, WBAL-1090, WTOP-FM-107.7 and WMJS-FM-92.7.
This Season: The Orioles are 6-1 against Chicago, and 3-0 at Camden Yards. The Orioles have outscored the White Sox 46-31.