Right-hander Bob Milacki wants to get back into the starting rotation before the 1990 season is completed, but the chances ** of him getting even a spot start appear slim.
Milacki has been out of the rotation since a sore shoulder forced him onto the disabled list July 31. He has made two relief appearances since returning to active duty Sept. 1.
"I don't think I'm going to start anymore, but I'd like to," he said. "I understand why they are doing it this way. They know what I can do, and they want to look at some other pitchers, but it would help some to see what I can do after being hurt."
Manager Frank Robinson said Tuesday that Milacki would have been the replacement if the coaching staff had decided to remove Pete Harnisch from the rotation. But yesterday, Robinson said that the impending arrival of several players from the Rochester Red Wings roster has reduced Milacki's chances of starting to "slim and none."
Milacki had hoped to prove something to himself. Robinson said he can do that right where he is.
"He can do that by getting batters out," Robinson said. "He's going to get some work. The idea is to get confidence that he can get hitters out."
There is little doubt about Milacki's place in the 1991 starting rotation. If he is healthy, he'd be there. But he isn't so sure he's got the team made, not after a frustrating season that isn't all the result of his late-season shoulder problem.
"I don't think so," he said. "In a way, they're saying that they know what I can do, but if I don't do my job in spring training, I'm not going to be in a starting role."
*First baseman Randy Milligan took live batting practice yesterday, but not without some continued soreness in his injured left shoulder.
"It's a little sore," Milligan said. "The pitches inside hurt a little bit because I have to be quicker."
Milligan will accompany the club to Toronto, where he will continue to take batting practice in anticipation of his return to the lineup. He says that could be as soon as Monday against the Boston Red Sox.
*The Maryland Instructional League season grinds on. The Orioles minor-leaguers defeated George Washington University, 9-6, yesterday, improving their record to 4-2.
Ryan Hendricks, son of Orioles coach Elrod Hendricks, had a triple in three at-bats for George Washington. Manny Alexander had three hits for the Orioles.
*Detroit Tigers outfielder Lloyd Moseby had to be scratched from the starting lineup after his back stiffened.
*Third baseman Craig Worthington got the night off against Tigers right-hander Jack Morris, even though he was 6-for-13 in his previous four games. Worthington has just three hits in 14 career at-bats against Morris, but two of them are home runs. He was replaced in the lineup by Tim Hulett, who entered the game with a .313 lifetime average against Morris.
*Since Milligan was knocked out of action with a slightly separated shoulder Aug. 7, the club has hit 17 home runs in 33 games, compared with 96 home runs in its first 107 games.