For Millar, A Return To Outfield
NEW YORK, April 7 — Kevin Millar made his first start for the Baltimore Orioles in left field on Saturday. Last season Millar split time between first base and designated hitter.
“If you look back, I’ve played a lot of outfield,” Millar said. “Last year was the first year I didn’t play any, so it’s not like it’s a foreign object or anything. I played a lot of right field when [Trot] Nixon would go down [with the Red Sox] and played a lot of left field with the Marlins because we had Derrek Lee. It’s really not a big deal, it’s just that I haven’t played an inning” since 2005.
Millar has played 363 games in the outfield, 193 of them in left field. Orioles Manager Sam Perlozzo said he wanted to give left fielder Jay Gibbons a day off.
“We want Gibby to stay healthy, that’s one thing,” Perlozzo said. “We got three guys that have to go out there and play. They all play the same position. We’ll let Kevin go out there today and make sure Gibby is good and we’ll use him off the bench and then we’ll get him back in there.”
The Orioles are unsure when bench coach Tom Trebelhorn will rejoin the team. Trebelhorn traveled to Arizona on Thursday to tend to his wife, Elizabeth Black, who suffered a brain aneurysm in February.
“I’d like to tell you that I think he’ll be here on a regular basis but that’s a very delicate situation when he needs to be home at certain times to take care of his wife,” Perlozzo said. “We feel comfortable with Dave Trembley in the dugout. I think we have some people in the pen that can take care of that. We’ll work through it as long as we can.”
Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada committed his third error of the season in the fifth inning on Saturday when he bounced a throw to first baseman Chris Gomez, allowing Derek Jeter to reach base. Last season Tejada committed just 19 errors, tied for the lowest total of his career.
“I don’t necessarily know if he’s working his way in, he’s had a couple of weird plays happen to him,” Perlozzo said. “I totally expect Miguel to play good defense for us and probably play better than last year. He’s in much better shape than what he started the season with [last year].”