Baltimore Orioles general manager Roland Hemond said yesterday that a team representative will watch Jim Palmer throw next week in Miami in what could be a prelude to an invitation to spring training for the Hall of Fame pitcher.
"I've been bombarded with questions about Jim," said Hemond, who has been on the Orioles caravan trips this week. "But we'll take this one step at a time. It's still speculative as to when a decision will be made."
Hemond said his special assistant, Fred Uhlman Sr., is likely to inspect Palmer's readiness because he will be in Miami for the Caribbean World Series.
"We'll let that take place and let Jim decide if he felt sufficiently well on that day and go from there," said Hemond. "Sometimes, pitchers don't have their stuff or their arm is tired."
The tryout apparently will take place at the University of Miami, where Palmer has been working out.
* The Orioles have signed utility player Jeff McKnight to a one-year contract for slightly more than the major-league minimum of $100,000.
"He can play all over the place and he's a switch-hitter," said Hemond. "That's a valuable man."
McKnight hit .200 in two separate stints with the Orioles last year and collected his first major-league homer, off the Detroit Tigers' Jack Morris.
* Pitcher Jeff Robinson will make his first visit to town Thursday, when the Orioles show the 1990 World Series highlight film to the media.
Robinson, acquired from the Tigers for Mickey Tettleton, is one of three Orioles who may be headed to salary arbitration. The others are first baseman Glenn Davis and second baseman Bill Ripken.