TORONTO -- Baltimore Orioles right fielder Dwight Evans didn't like the idea of spending 15 days on the disabled list, but he had to admit that it was the right move for the club.
"I don't know that it was a mutual decision, but it was a wise decision," said Evans, who has been hobbled by a sore left Achilles' tendon. "It's frustrating, because I'm starting to feel really good at the plate and I've been hitting the ball pretty well."
The Orioles were reluctant to give up Evans' services, but the club has been very short on depth. Outfielder Brady Anderson, who went on the disabled list May 28 with a sore hamstring, was activated to take his place on the roster and played in last night's game.
"I'm like half a player right now," Evans said. "I can hit and throw, but every time I go to the outfield, I end up shutting it down. It's something I need time off for, but 15 days, I don't think so. It's too bad there isn't a seven- to 10-day disabled list."
Evans has grappled with a variety of nagging injuries this year, but he has played more regularly in the outfield than anyone expected. A serious back injury limited him to a designated-hitter role with the Boston Red Sox last year, but he came back to prove that he still has the defensive skills that made him an eight-time Gold Glove winner in right field.
"I'm very thankful that my back is fine," Evans said. "It's no problem. I worked real hard to get it to that point, so I'm a little frustrated by this."
The Achilles' strain came on the heels of a groin-muscle injury that forced Evans out of the starting lineup for several days in late May. He apparently favored the groin strain and put extra stress on the Achilles'. Now he's favoring the Achilles' and has developed some hamstring soreness.
"This has become a series of breakdowns," Evans said, "so it's time to shut it down. I figured it would take five to seven days, but actually I probably need seven to 10, so the extra days are probably a good idea. It's just a matter of having some inflammation in there and needing to get it out."
McDonald workout encouraging
Right-hander Ben McDonald pitched under simulated-game conditions again yesterday and got positive reviews from the Orioles coaching staff.
"He was throwing nasty today," manager John Oates said. "As [general manager] Roland [Hemond] said after one fastball to Juan Bell, 'That's the fastball we signed.' It had that giddyap."
Oates said, however, that the club will not do anything to accelerate McDonald's rehabilitation program.
"It was good again," McDonald said. "I went three innings, mixed them [his pitches], threw out of a stretch a lot and had some pretty good stuff."
The club eventually plans to send him on a minor-league rehab assignment, but McDonald said he would rather remain with the club and continue to pitch in simulated games. The decision probably will not be up to him, however.
Johnson throws again
Right-hander Dave Johnson also threw off the mound before last night's game and reported little change in the condition of his injured groin muscle.
"It felt about the same as last time," Johnson said. "That's good. It's not any worse. I'll probably wait two or three more days and try again. It took until the third day to get comfortable this time. Hopefully, the next time it will be shorter."
Whitt returns to Toronto
Catcher Ernie Whitt returned to Toronto for the first time since he left the Blue Jays after the 1989 season, and Oates put him right into the starting lineup.
But Whitt said before the game that he had doubts he would survive on the Orioles roster long enough to get back here.
"There's always concern when you've got a lot of people on the disabled list and you're the third catcher," Whitt said. "There was a point a couple of weeks into the season when they asked me if I would be willing to go down to the minor leagues if they needed to bring somebody up, but I told them no."
Whitt has played in 25 of the Orioles' 58 games this year. He entered last night's game batting .222, but had reached base eight times in his previous 17 plate appearances.