- The Washington Times - Friday, June 23, 2006

A proud Louisianian, Roy Corcoran was thrilled to start this season at Class AAA New Orleans. One hitless outing later, he was back in Class AA.

The Washington Nationals last season signed more than 30 minor league free agents in an attempt to bolster the depth in the organization. So Corcoran, even after throwing 11/3 innings with two strikeouts in New Orleans’ first game, was sent to Harrisburg.

Corcoran simply pitched his way back to the Pacific Coast League, allowing only one earned run in 26 innings with the Senators. The Eastern League hit .138 off him as he went 0-2 with 16 saves while walking 10 and striking out 40. Back with New Orleans, he’s 1-1 with a 1.74 ERA, five saves and a .118 opponents’ batting average in 101/3 innings.

“I was looking forward to being here from the beginning but we had a logjam of free agents,” said Corcoran, 26. “I had to get back up here, but it worked out for the best.”

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound right-hander signed with the organization as a nondrafted free agent out of Louisiana State in 2001. He was raised just north of Baton Rouge in Slaughter, La., where he shares a home with his brother, Tampa Bay Devil Rays right-hander Tim Corcoran. He has remained in Slaughter through a career that has included two seasons with big league experience and said, “I don’t plan on going anywhere.”

In baseball, though, Corcoran wants to return to the majors. He had a 3.55 ERA in 122/3 innings with the Montreal Expos in 2003 and 2004. His first major league stint came in a year in which he was 5-3 with a 1.91 ERA and 12 saves at Class A Brevard County before making his debuts in Class AA, Class AAA and the National League.

“I just have to be consistent,” Corcoran said. “In 2003 I had a really good season, but it’s been a little bit rough the past couple of years. I think I just had to straighten things out with my mechanics and the mental aspect of it.

“[New Orleans pitching coach] Steve McCatty and the pitching coach at Harrisburg, Rick Tomlin, really have gotten me back on track.”

McCatty was the Class AAA Ottawa pitching coach in the Baltimore organization last season and also served as the Orioles’ major league bullpen coach for part of the year.

Corcoran throws a fastball usually clocked at 89-91 mph but occasionally as high as 94. He also has a changeup and a slider that McCatty said resembles a knuckle-curve.

Corcoran “just has to have confidence and trust in his pitches, and keep repeating his delivery,” said McCatty, a 14-game winner in 1980 and 1981 with the Oakland Athletics. “If he keeps doing that, he can get back and succeed in the big leagues.”

And Corcoran can’t help but notice a June 30-July 2 interleague series at RFK Stadium involving his brother’s team.

“The Devil Rays have a series with the Nationals coming up,” Corcoran said. “You never know. I just have to keep doing the things I’ve been doing.”

Notes — Harrisburg catcher Salomon Manriquez was named to the World roster for the July 9 Futures Game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. From the Orioles organization, Class A Frederick right-hander Radhames Liz is on the World team and Keys teammate Nolan Reimold, an outfielder, is on the U.S. team. …

Harrisburg third baseman Kory Casto was named Eastern League player of the week for the period ending Sunday. The 24-year-old was 11-for-22 (.500) with two doubles, four home runs, nine RBI, nine runs and seven walks in a week in which he slugged 1.136 and took over the league lead in RBI. …

Meanwhile, Class A Potomac left-hander Mike Hinckley was named Carolina League pitcher of the week for pitching 82/3 two-hit innings in a 1-0 victory against Frederick last Friday. …

Class A Savannah left-hander Gene Yost pitched a scoreless inning Tuesday night in the South Atlantic League all-star game in Eastlake, Ohio. Teammate Brian Peacock, a catcher, went 0-for-1. The two Sand Gnats were playing for the Southern Division, which lost 4-0 to the Northern Division.

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