CLEVELAND — Evans may not be ready when term on DL expires
CLEVELAND -- Baltimore Orioles right fielder Dwight Evans will be eligible to come off the disabled list this weekend, but it is not certain his strained Achilles' tendon will have healed sufficiently to allow him to play right away.
"Dewey is eligible to come off on Saturday," manager John Oates said, "but I'm not sure he'll be able to. He wants to come off in time to play Saturday against the Red Sox, but we'll have to monitor it."
Evans has been on the disabled list since June 15, when the club decided to give him an extended period to get healthy. Brady Anderson took his place on the roster.
At the time, Evans expressed hope that he would need only seven to 10 days to shake off the strain, but it apparently will take slightly longer.
"If he was eligible today, he wouldn't be ready," Oates said, "but we'll just have to wait and see."
Johnson to throw today
Dave Johnson will pitch a three-inning simulated game todayafter which he faces the possibility of a minor-league rehabilitation assignment to prove his injured groin muscle has healed enough to allow him to pitch in the major-league rotation.
Johnson has said he wants to remain at the major-league level while he rehabilitates, but Oates is leaning toward a minor-league assignment.
"We'll talk about it after I throw," Johnson said. "Depending on how I throw, I might think it's the best thing, too."
Reliever Mike Flanagan gave up just two hits over five inningin his longest relief stint since 1976. He took over in the fourth and held the Indians scoreless the rest of the way to drop his ERA to 2.65.
McKnight still sore
Outfielder Jeff McKnight was supposed to be sidelined onlthree or four days with the hand injury he suffered when he ran into the wall at the Metrodome in Minneapolis three weeks ago, but he still is not close to returning to active duty.
"The X-rays showed there was nothing wrong in there," Oates said, "but yesterday was the first time he could catch a ball comfortably. He's still having trouble gripping a bat."
The soreness and swelling have been slow to subside, which makes the decision to place him right on the disabled list a good one.
Jackson ignores rumors
Pitching coach Al Jackson is trying to ignore rumors that hwon't be on Oates' coaching staff next year.
"I can't tell you about next year until this year is over," Jackson said.
"That's just the nature of this business. If I had to decipher everything that was said or written about me, I'd go crazy. I can't worry about that. We've got a job to do this year."
Waiting for Ben
Ben McDonald appears close to returning to the major leagues, but Oates said he may not announce a decision on the starting rotation until the last minute.
"I've got ideas of what I want to do," he said, "but things can change in five or six days. It wouldn't be productive to say anything now, because of the effect it could have on the people involved."
The Orioles have sold 133,029 tickets for the series against the Red Sox, guaranteeing that they will pass the 1 million mark in home attendance Saturday. That will tie 1990 for the earliest the club has reached 7 figures. . . . The Orioles entered last night's game with a 14-13 record since May 28, tied for the best in the division in that period. . . . Former Orioles GM Hank Peters, now Indians GM, was named Man of the Year by the Cleveland Baseball Federation, but he was booed by the crowd at Cleveland Stadium.