SEATTLE — Robinson wants club to define his pitching role
SEATTLE -- Right-hander Jeff Robinson probably will return to the Baltimore Orioles starting rotation next week, but the uncertainty has become a source of aggravation.
"I don't know what's going to happen," he said. "I don't know if I'm going to start or pitch in relief. But I know one thing: I'm not going back and forth. I'm not going to play that game. It has to be one or the other. They are going to have to make a decision."
Robinson is a reliever for the time being. He made four starts -- two good, two bad -- before moving into the bullpen after getting just one out in a May 4 start against the California Angels.
He was removed from the rotation to allow left-hander Mike Flanagan to make a spot start against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, but was left with the impression that he would be returning soon.
"I had no problem with that," said Robinson, who pitched in relief last night. "Mike has been pitching great. I don't have hard feelings about anything, but we've either got to go one way or the other. I can't effectively help this ballclub bouncing back and forth like this."
Pitching coach Al Jackson said yesterday that a decision is near on a starter for Tuesday night's game against the A's at Memorial Stadium.
"I just asked him to hang with us until we can get it squared away," Jackson said. "When we go home, we'll have six games in six days, and that will give us a chance to iron things out."
Hoiles back in lineup
Catcher Chris Hoiles was expected to nurse his bruised shoulder for at least a couple more days, but he had recovered enough by yesterday afternoon to declare himself ready to play.
So, manager Frank Robinson put him right back in the starting lineup for last night's series opener.
"I'm fine," said Hoiles, who underwent precautionary X-rays Thursday after taking a pitch off his shoulder in Wednesday's 9-3 loss to the A's. "I knew it was a lot better when I was able to wash my hair with both hands this morning."
The shoulder was stiff and swollen on Thursday, but Hoiles iced it several times and took oral medication to reduce the inflammation. He could hardly lift his arm after Mark Williamson's wild pitch caught him squarely on the shoulder tip, but he played catch before last night's game and experienced only minor discomfort.
Ripken, Milligan also back
Second baseman Bill Ripken, who had missed three games with a jammed right ring finger, returned to the starting lineup. So did first baseman Randy Milligan, who had been benched for a couple of games in an attempt to pull him out of a monthlong hitting slump.
Davis uncertain about return
First baseman Glenn Davis said there still is no timetable for his return to full workout capability.
Davis still was experiencing headaches four days after undergoing a myelogram on Monday. The test required the injection of dye into his spinal column. Headaches are a normal side effect, and can last for weeks.
McDonald still not 100 percent
Jackson said Ben McDonald is pitching without pain but still hasn't regained 100 percent of his arm strength.
"He can show you his good fastball," Jackson said, "but not as often as he did last year."
The game between the Orioles and Texas Rangers that was postponed by rain on April 21 will be played as part of a doubleheader Aug. 13. . . . Orioles field attendant Ernie Tyler will work his 2,500th consecutive game Tuesday night. Tyler has watched every pitch of every game at Memorial Stadium since April 19, 1960. Tyler's sons, Jimmy and Fred, are clubhouse managers at the stadium.