Oates says he won't rush to reactivate McDonaldBen...

Orioles notes

May 27, 1991|By Kent Baker

Oates says he won't rush to reactivate McDonald

Ben McDonald will be on a strict regimen for the next several weeks.

The disabled pitcher's schedule yesterday was the subject of a meeting, which McDonald attended, among manager John Oates, general manager Roland Hemond and team physician Dr. Charles Silberstein.

"We wanted to make sure we had a plan," Oates said. "I wanted direction as to what he was doing every day. We're going to go slow, but hopefully, he'll be back up on the mound in 10 days."

McDonald was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with recurring stiffness in his right elbow. Oates wants him to be ready to start when he returns.

"He probably won't come back when he's eligible [June 7], but he could be very close," Oates said. "When he does return, I want him in the neighborhood of throwing 75 to 80 pitches.

"We're not going to baby Ben, but we'll handle him with kid gloves. We want to keep him with one foot going forward all the time."

Johnson making progress

The Orioles are in no rush to activate Dave Johnson, who is reporting improvement from his groin injury.

"The strength in my leg is better," said Johnson, who is experiencing more range with weights, less discomfort and is throwing, but will not beat the deadline Oates has imposed for adding an 11th pitcher.

"We want to make sure he's totally back," Oates said. "We want to push our disabled people but with some sense of logic."

The new manager and pitcher agree that Johnson is best suited for a starting role and Johnson is relieved that the trade talk involving him has died down.

"I was a little bit hurt by that," he said. "I think I established myself to a certain extent last year. As much as our staff has struggled, I felt I deserved a little more of a chance and I think I'll get it."

Johnson believes the Orioles will add another pitcher before he is ready and is taking the Nolan Ryan approach.

"The key is to get healthy," he said. "Then it's Advil and nine more [innings]."

Pitcher on the way?

Hemond said yesterday that the team "most likely will add a pitcher in the next few days. We had a lot of off days until now, but now we need one."

It is not likely to be Chuck Cary, who started against the Orioles yesterday, in the rumored trade for Craig Worthington.

Yankees general manager Gene Michael met with Hemond, who said, "It doesn't look like anything is going to happen between us."

Oates wants a reliever with some major-league experience, and in the system, Todd Frohwirth (1-2, 2.57 ERA, 8 saves) with the Class AAA Rochester Red Wings best fills the bill. Anthony Telford (3-3, 3.70 as a starter) is another possibility.

Lost weekend for Flanny

Saturday night of Memorial weekend was no picnic for Mike Flanagan.

Five of the eight Yankees he faced reached base, he hit a batter, he walked three and he took his first relief defeat.

"I didn't have much of a curve, and I didn't have much of a fastball," he said. "I couldn't even throw a strike when the guy [Pat Kelly] was trying to give us an out [on a sacrifice attempt]. It was a pretty helpless feeling."

Orsulak will play more

Oates also has decided that outfielder Joe Orsulak, a fan favorite, is going to play as much as possible.

"Right now, Joe is not going to get days off. There's no chance. But he'll probably do a lot of switching between left and right field on the days Evans comes back."

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