Relief due for Orioles bullpen when staff grows

April 25, 1991|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Sun Staff Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Baltimore Orioles bullpen is undermanned and overworked, but help probably will arrive in about a week.

Manager Frank Robinson has been getting by with a four-man relief corps, and one of those pitchers -- stopper Gregg Olson -- has been on a limited work schedule. That means that Mike Flanagan, Paul Kilgus and Mark Williamson have been carrying the weight of the struggling starting rotation on three shoulders.

The workload "will cut down as the starters become more consistent," said Robinson, who started the season with a nine-man pitching staff because of the numerous open dates in April.

Robinson said he will go to 10 pitchers in early May but indicated that the decision was not necessarily tied to the availability of veteran left-hander Joe Price, who will be eligible to join the major-league roster May 1.

Price has not pitched particularly well for the Class AAA Rochester Red Wings, but his minor-league performance doesn't figure to work heavily against him.

"We know what he can do," Robinson said. "When a guy goes down there just to get his innings in, you don't place a lot of importance on the results."

* First baseman Glenn Davis, who has been hobbled by a strained left hamstring, was out of the starting lineup for the second straight game last night.

Manager Frank Robinson said he is taking advantage of the day off today to give Davis an extended rest. Davis has not played in the field since Sunday. He was the designated hitter Monday night.

* First baseman/outfielder Randy Milligan still is feeling the effects of the ankle sprain he suffered when he collided with White Sox first baseman Frank Thomas in the exhibition opener in Sarasota, Fla.

"It still hurts," Milligan said, "but I can still do the things I normally do. It's just something I'm going to have to live with."

Milligan entered last night's game batting .194, but he said the ankle has had no effect on his performance at the plate.

* Designated hitter Sam Horn struck out 19 times in his first 36 plate appearances, a development he says is cause for concern.

"I've just been trying too hard," he said. "I want to be successful so much."

Milligan started passing a rumor yesterday that Horn is seeing a hypnotist about the problem he has had making contact, but Horn said he doesn't need anyone else to tell him what he's doing wrong. It's very simple, really.

"I'm just missing the ball," he said.

* Robinson was incredulous when he heard there has been speculation that he is about to move into the Orioles front office and turn the managerial reins over to coach John Oates.

"It's so ridiculous that I won't even dignify it with a response," he said.

Robinson has been active in the planning of the new Camden Yards stadium and has said all along that he wants to manage at least one season there.

* Robinson said yesterday that he favors legislation that would prevent memorabilia collectors against fraudulent claims and forged autographs.

"The innocent small-time collectors are getting ripped off," he said. "The experts can tell what's legitimate and what's not, but the novices are getting taken advantage of."

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