Sunday, June 23, 2002

Indians' Dunwoody on DL; Broussard called up

Major League notebook

The Associated Press

        MONTREAL — The Cleveland Indians placed outfielder Todd Dunwoody on the 15-day disabled list and recalled first baseman-outfielder Ben Broussard from Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday.

        Dunwoody sprained his left foot and ankle when he landed awkwardly after making a leaping catch in the sixth inning of Cleveland's 3-1 loss to the Expos Friday.

        X-rays taken after the game were negative and Dunwoody, 0-for-6 in two games with the Indians since being recalled from Buffalo on Tuesday, was to begin rehabilitation immediately.

        Broussard, who will make his major-league debut, was acquired from Cincinnati on June 7 in a trade for Russell Branyan.

        The Reds' second round pick in the June 1999 draft, Broussard began the season with the Reds' Triple-A Louisville affiliate after posting a combined 28 homers and 90 RBI between Single-A Mudville and Double-A Chattanooga last season.

        Broussard hit .267 with 13 homers and 36 RBI in the minors this season, including .245 with two homers and six RBIs in 14 games with Buffalo.

        SPECIAL K — The consensus has long been that American League hitters don't see a much better changeup than Jamie Moyer's. Now the same might be true for the National League.

        The Houston Astros were introduced to Moyer's changeup Friday night, and they liked it about as much as they like higher taxes. The pitch bamboozled the Astros in an 8-0 Mariners victory.

        In support of Moyer's seven shutout innings, Ruben Sierra drove in five runs with a grand slam and an RBI single.

        As good as Moyer's changeup was last night, however, the lefty could have gotten by with just an own goal or two.

        “The changeup is Jamie's signature pitch,” Seattle pitching coach Bryan Price said. “It's like (Greg) Maddux's sinker. It's what allows Jamie to be in the upper echelon of pitchers.”

        By reputation, the National League is a fastball league. By reputation, Moyer's fastball isn't much, but he got three strikeouts with fastballs. He set up the hitters with his changeup, then froze them with a fastball that was no more than 85 mph.

        “I'm not a power pitcher, but even for power pitchers, you have to be able to keep hitters off balance,” Moyer said. “You need the slider or the split, some sort of off-speed pitch.

        “My power pitch is a fastball. But it can't compare with guys who throw 95.”

        So Moyer throws it when the hitter is looking for something else. Such was the case last night.

        The Astros had no clue how to attack the changeup. As a result, Houston batters struck out 11 times against Moyer, more than any team had in five years.

        If the Astros were gnashing their teeth in vain attempts to catch up with the changeup, Moyer said he would be just as happy if they had made contact a little more often. Not good contact, perhaps, but contact.

        Strikeouts aren't really his game, and they're bad for the pitch count. That's why Moyer came out of the game after 109 pitches. When he shut out St.Louis two starts ago, Moyer threw nine innings and 122 pitches, which is close to Price's theoretical maximum.

        After Moyer was done — seven innings, three single, no walks — John Halama pitched the final two innings. Halama struck out just one and needed only 14 pitches to close out the Mariners' fourth consecutive victory.

        “I had no idea I had that many strikeouts,” Moyer said. “It's not like it happens that often. And if I had a way to know what was going to happen, I'd rather take ground balls than strikeouts.

        “If you get ground balls, you stay fresher. Ideally, when you are the kind of pitcher I am, you'd like to have innings like John did. To throw 14 pitches and get two innings is effective.”

        RANGERS: Orel Hershiser was hired as the team's pitching coach, replacing the fired Oscar Acosta.

        Hershiser discussed taking the job with Texas before he joined the Rangers as a special assistant to general manager John Hart last fall. At the time, Hershiser didn't want to make a full-time commitment, but changed his thinking Friday.

        “I wasn't as committed, but I've received some education in the baseball industry since then,” said Hershiser, 42. “I'm an employee of the Texas Rangers, and I want to be loyal to this team. I helped choose Oscar. I feel partly responsible for Oscar's failure. Who am I to be part of making that decision and not be willing to be part of the solution?”

        Hershiser, who has no previous coaching experience, spent 18 years in the majors as a pitcher and had a career record of 204-150. and a 3.48 ERA. He won the NL Cy Young award with Los Angeles in 1988.

        PIRATES: Ron Kline, a former star reliever who won 114 games during a 19-season major-league career that began with Pittsburgh, died Saturday at his home. He was 70.

        Kline was hospitalized earlier in the week for heart and kidney problems, but died at his home in Callery, Pa., according to the Pirates. The cause of death was not determined.

        Kline, a starter early in his career who later became an accomplished reliever, went 114-144 with a 3.75 ERA in 736 games.


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