Worthington agrees to no raise for '91

Orioles notes

February 28, 1991|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Sun Staff Correspondent

SARASOTA, FLA — SARASOTA, Fla. -- Baltimore Orioles third baseman Craig Worthington agreed to terms on a one-year contract yesterday, accepting the same salary for 1991 that he earned last year.

Worthington, who batted .226 with eight home runs and 44 RBI in 1990, will make $207,500. He had more than doubled his salary the year before with a rookie season that featured 15 homers and 70 RBI, but reported to camp late last year and struggled from start to finish.

His bargaining position was diminished further by the presence of third-base prospect Leo Gomez, who was the most dangerous hitter in the International League last year and added to his credentials with a solid performance in the Dominican Winter League.

Manager Frank Robinson still considers the starting job Worthington's to lose, but has said Gomez will be given a legitimate opportunity to unseat him.

* Dwight Evans ran into another roadblock yesterday. He dressed for the Orioles' first full-squad workout, but for the second straight day was held to limited activity.

"I just wanted to back him off," Robinson said. "He had a little blowup with his knee, so I just told him to take it easy. He said, 'I'm going to shag some fly balls.' I said, 'Oh no you're not.' He'll be back out there tomorrow."

Evans was held out of Tuesday's workout with soreness and swelling in his right knee. The inflammation had all but subsided, but Robinson needs Evans in the outfield on Opening Day more than he needs him there during the first week of spring training.

"I just did a little too much too soon," Evans said. "They told me I didn't have to do the 12-minute run. I did it anyway, and I pounded it [the knee] too much too soon.

"I'm down here for the first time and I like to do everything everybody else can. I don't like to be treated differently, but I guess I'll have to whether I like it or not."

His knee was not an issue when the Orioles signed him in December. Most of the physical questions centered on the back injury that had kept him out of the outfield for the 1990 season. But Evans said his back has not been a problem at all, not even after the grueling 12-minute run.

* Orioles pitchers threw batting practice for the first time yesterday, but reliever Gregg Olson didn't participate. Robinson is limiting his workouts to keep him fresh for the regular season.

"We've got him on a decelerated program," he said. "We hope it has that effect."

Olson set a club record with 37 saves last year, but suffered through a late-season slump that eventually was attributed to a tired elbow. He rested it in September and finished the season in his normal role, but Robinson wants to avoid a repeat of the elbow soreness.

* Rookies Mike Mussina and Arthur Rhodes took the mound to face friendly hitters and -- drum roll, please -- were way ahead of them.

"This isn't batting practice," said one Orioles observer. "They're just toughening up their hands."

* The Milwaukee Brewers have invited outfielder Candy Maldonado to camp, but reports that he reported without a contract apparently were erroneous. The Brewers are believed to have an understanding with Maldonado, but still must make room on their 40-man roster.

Maldonado said in January that he wanted to play for the Orioles, but club officials said that they never discussed the kind of arrangement he accepted with the Brewers.

* Infielder Tim Hulett became the first casualty of full-squad workouts yesterday when he turned an ankle running in the outfield.

* Jim Palmer will throw to hitters for the first time today. He has pitched three times off the practice mound in his first five days of workouts.

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