McDonald feels no pain after 60-pitch simulated game
Right-hander Ben McDonald pitched two innings in a simulated game yesterday, but it probably will be at least another two weeks before he is ready to return to the Baltimore Orioles starting rotation.
McDonald threw about 60 pitches during the workout, but only about 25 of them against a hitter. He reported no problems, but will be brought along slowly in his recovery from a strained elbow flexor.
"It went very well," manager John Oates said. "It was better than I thought it was going to be. He said he had no pain whatsoever. He didn't throw 100 percent, but he wasn't at 50 percent, either."
The plan is to see how McDonald's arm bounces back today. If he does not experience any second-day stiffness, he will throw again tomorrow. Oates wants him to work up to about 80 pitches (not including warm-ups) before throwing in a game.
"We will not pitch him until he can go to the mound and throw 80 pitches -- and throw all of his pitches -- at 100 percent with no pain," Oates said. "That's going to take at least three more times on the mound, with the time in between increasing as he throws more pitches."
It works out to a minimum of about two weeks, perhaps more if McDonald suffers any setbacks. He came away feeling confident that there wouldn't be any further problems.
"It felt good, the best I've felt," McDonald said. "They told me that once it started getting better, there would be rapid progress. We'll do it again Friday and see what happens."
Johnson still suffering
Right-hander Dave Johnson said that he woke up sore after testing his strained groin muscle in a throwing workout Tuesday. His comeback has been discouragingly slow.
"I felt fine yesterday," he said. "Today, it's sore again. I'll just have to see how it feels tomorrow. It was more sore than I expected it to be.
"To be that sore after throwing for just 15 minutes makes me wonder what's going to happen when I have to get up and down nine times." Johnson is eligible to come off the disabled list whenever he's physically able, but it does not appear that he'll be back on the active roster any time soon.
Right fielder Joe Orsulak succumbed to pressure from the bleachers and cut off the shaggy locks that were sticking out below his cap. He's looking clean-cut now, but he can't keep the customers satisfied.
"They were chanting, 'Cut your hair, cut your hair,' " Orsulak said. "Now, they're chanting, 'Grow some hair, grow some hair.' "
Why did Orsulak give in in the first place?
"I'm trying to change my image," he said.
Rochester Red Wings outfielder Scott Meadows has been tearing up Class AAA International League pitching since his promotion from the Class AA Hagerstown Suns on May 19.
Meadows had 16 RBI in his first 68 at-bats after the promotion, which was made as a stopgap maneuver after injuries cut into the Red Wings' outfield depth. Now, it appears, he's with Rochester to stay.
He carried a seven-game hitting streak and .387 average into last night's game against the Buffalo Bisons. The right-handed batter has five three-hit games and a pair of two-hit games.
"When we called him up, we told him not to get an apartment because he was probably going back," Orioles assistant general manager Doug Melvin said, "but he's as hot as Jeff McKnight was when he called him up."
The Orioles signed Meadows as an undrafted free agent after a (( tryout at rookie league Bluefield in 1988. The Orioles sent him to the then-Class A Hagerstown Suns, but he had only eight at-bats. He began 1989 on a co-op team. And he began this season at Class AA instead of Class AAA, where he thought he belonged.
"I was upset I didn't come here right out of spring training," said Meadows. "I know I can play at this level."
The Orioles do not appear likely to call Meadows up to the major leagues, but it is not out of the question. The club is short on outfield depth, and a time may come when the Orioles want to get a closer look at their future.
Brad Seitzer an Oriole
The Orioles have signed third baseman Brad Seitzer, brother of the Kansas City Royals' Kevin Seitzer and the club's 11th-round pick in the amateur draft.
Brad, 21, batted .317 with 11 home runs and 112 RBI during a three-year career at Memphis State University. He did not miss any of 165 games.
The younger Seitzer ranks among the school's top six in runs, hits, doubles and RBI.
The Orioles' 11-0 loss Tuesday was their most lopsided shutout loss since Opening Day 1988, when the Brewers beat them, 12-0. . . . All of the 3,400 bleacher seats that were selling for 75 cents for Turn Back The Clock Day on June 19 have been purchased. Approximately 31,000 tickets have been sold for the day, which features events commemorating 1966, the year of the Orioles' first world title. . . . Brian McRae played 93 games in center field for the Royals before making his first error last night. He dropped a routine fly by Leo Gomez in the second inning. . . . Cal Ripken ended an 0-for-8 streak with a first-inning single. His longest skein without a hit this year is 10 at-bats.