MINNEAPOLIS -- Within the next few days John Oates will be faced with his first squad cut as a big-league manager.
Craig Worthington is eligible to come off the disabled list tomorrow, but won't be activated until the club returns home Thursday to face the Toronto Blue Jays.
Since Oates is committed to carrying 11 pitchers, a position player will have to be dropped. "I haven't given it much thought yet," Oates said last night. "I haven't talked about it with Roland [general manager Roland Hemond], and I don't want to discuss it until then. We won't do anything until we get home."
The Orioles currently have five players on the disabled list -- Glenn Davis, Worthington, Brady Anderson and pitchers Dave Johnson and Ben McDonald. "Worthy is the only one even close, the only one within 10 days [of being ready]," said Oates.
Barring some kind of trade, the Orioles' options to make room for
Worthington are limited. Jeff McKnight has been on the Baltimore-Rochester yo-yo string and would appear the most logical choice to go. But Oates has indicated he likes the versatility of McKnight, who can play infield or outfield.
Another, though slim, possibility would be for the Orioles to gamble they could get Juan Bell through waivers and give the young infielder some playing time at Rochester.
* FROHWIRTH ON A ROLL: Righthander Todd Frohwirth pitched 2 1/3 perfect innings last night to continue his amazing streak.
In five games since joining the Orioles a week ago, Frohwirth has faced 19 hitters without allowing a hit or walk. The only batter to reach base against him did so via a strikeout and passed ball.
* RIP KEEPS ROARING: Cal Ripken had three more hits last night, including an RBI (his 37th) double. Ripken is hitting .353, the highestaverage by an Oriole this late in the season since Frank Robinson had a .356 mark after 51 games in 1970.
* FRANKLY SPEAKING: Former Orioles manager Frank Robinson is expected to announce today whether he will accept a job in the Orioles' front office. Team president Larry Lucchino said yesterday that word would come today "from the Orioles and from Frank."
* ERICKSON PITCHER OF MONTH: Twins righthander Scott Erickson was named the American League's Pitcher of the Month for May. The righthander, who won his eighth straight two days ago, was 5-0 with a 1.36 earned run average in May.
Texas outfielder Ruben Sierra was the AL Player of the Month. He hit .386 with 21 runs batted in during May.
* THIS 'N THAT: The Orioles are 5-6 under Oates after losing the first four.
Last night's win was the sixth in the last seven games for the Twins. The Orioles are 5-2 over the same stretch.
The Orioles are 22-33 in the Metrodome, which is now in its 10th year.
Mike Devereaux had his career-high nine-game hitting streak stopped last night. Ditto for Randy Milligan and his six-gamer.