Worthington focuses on rehab, not Gomez's play, trade talk
Craig Worthington's primary concern is his injured left hamstring -- not what's going on back at third base in Baltimore, where Leo Gomez's hitting has sparked talk that Worthington might be traded.
"I think they want me to get better," said Worthington, whjoined the Class AAA Rochester Red Wings on a 20-day rehabilitation assignment June 12. "Right now I'm trying to get better. If I'd have to make a move, I'd want someone at 100 percent. Once I get to 100 percent, they can make a deal."
Worthington has played in seven games, seeing only two to thend because of a knot that has developed in the back of his leg. Worthington has played third base three times, each time leaving early, and he has served as designated hitter four times.
"You don't want to come back and hurt yourself all over again,he said. "I hurt it in '87 when I was here, and that ended my season. I know how it feels when it's hurting."
Manager Greg Biagini has not pushed Worthington.
"He's giving us what he could," Biagini said. "We're rehabbing him. We're not trying to kill him. He knows what he's got to do to get back."
While in the games, Worthington has made a difference. Th1988 International League Most Valuable Player had hit in his first six games before going 0-for-3 last night in the first game of a doubleheader against the Pawtucket Red Sox. He has two doubles, two home runs and four RBI.
* Miscellaneous: LHP Jim Poole, claimed by the Orioles of waivers May 31 when the Texas Rangers tried to send him back to Class AAA Oklahoma City, is 5-for-5 in save opportunities after converting 3 straight June 12-14 . . . . C Jeff Tackett was named International League Batter of the Week for June 9-15. Tackett went 14-for-26 with 1 home run (his career-high fifth) and 7 RBI . . . . Scott Meadows' hitting streak ended at 11 games Tuesday night, when the OF/DH went 0-for-3 with a walk. Meadows was 18-for-37 with 13 RBI during the streak . . . . Right-handed reliever Francisco de la Rosa came off the DL Tuesday after missing 8 days because of a hamstring injury . . . . Reliever Chris Codiroli, called up from Hagerstown when de la Rosa was injured, has given up an earned run in each of his 4 appearances
The Suns have missed the Class AA Eastern League playoffs primarily because they haven't been able to win on the road.
But they may be changing that.
On a recent 10-game swing to Albany, Harrisburg and Reading, they went 6-4 and won five games in a row. It was their best road trip as a Class AA team.
Still, there is a big difference in their home-road records. They are 16-23 away from Municipal Stadium and 19-9 in Hagerstown, where they have won 13 of their past 17.
* Miscellaneous: The Suns are last in the league with 16 home runs, 13 of them with the bases empty. No Hagerstown player has had 2 homers in a game since Aug. 24, 1989, when Gomez did it. That spans 212 games . . . . Daryl Moore has pitched 6 1/3 innings since being promoted and has allowed 1 unearned run and 1 hit. Rod Lofton has returned to the roster after a brief period at Rochester . . . . Ken Shamburg is the only Sun to play in every game. He leads the league in doubles with 23.
After taking the Class A Carolina League title last year, the Keys are learning how the other half lives.
Their primary problem has been errors, both physical and mental.
The Keys have committed 111 errors in 70 games, and last weekend in Kinston, N.C., lost two one-run games, one on an error in the ninth and another when they made three errors on one play.
The record of pitcher Shane Hill best reflects the difficulty. Hill has pitched 64 1/3 innings, struck out 65 and given up only 22 earned runs (3.08 ERA) and 28 walks.
But his record is 0-6, in part because he has been charged with 18 unearned runs.
* Miscellaneous: Tickets are on sale for the Carolina League All-Star Game July 24 at Grove Stadium. They are $7 for a box seat and $5 for general admission for adults.