Horn is becoming a regular on bench
Designated hitter Sam Horn was not in the starting lineup last night, and he probably won't start again until the Baltimore Orioles visit Toronto next week, even though manager John Oates said Horn still is an important part of the club.
"I came in today with the idea that I wanted to get Sam four at-bats tonight," Oates said, "but the bottom line is that Glenn Davis is going to play, and I can't take Randy Milligan out of the lineup."
So, Oates looked ahead to tonight's series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays. No go. Milligan has good numbers against Jays starter Tom Candiotti. Horn is hitless in six career at-bats. The prospects for the weekend series in Minnesota are no better. Horn is a combined 1-for-20 against the three pitchers who will start for the Twins.
If Horn looks like a forgotten man, it should come as no surprise. He figured to fade out of the picture when Davis returned from the disabled list.
"I've got nothing to say about that," he said. "All I can do is take it day by day."
Horn would have a right to be upset. He ranks second on the club with 16 home runs and third with 45 RBI, though he has only 257 at-bats. His ratio of homers and RBI to at-bats is the best on the club.
"I told him I appreciated his attitude," Oates said. "We realized that certain people's at-bats were going to suffer when Glenn came off the DL. Sam has lost all of his. Dewey's [Dwight Evans] have been diminished.
"He [Horn] asked me if he was through for the year. I know it looks like that, but he's not through for the year."
Oates has met twice with Horn to reassure him. Davis may have pushed him out of the lineup for the time being, but there is no guarantee that Davis will be around next season. If he does not re-sign, the Orioles again would figure to look to Horn for some left-handed power.
"We don't know what's going to happen this winter," Oates said. "Things change. I couldn't tell him he's going to be here next year, but I can't tell you I'm going to be here next year. I don't feel good about him not getting at-bats right now. I told him that. I appreciate the way he has accepted it. I don't expect him to be happy about it, but I have to do what's best for the team." Orioles general manager Roland Hemond said that the club will honor the suspension imposed upon Rochester Red Wings outfielder Luis Mercedes, who has been ordered to sit out the remainder of the International League season.
"We will honor the ruling of the league president," said Hemond.
That means that Mercedes will not be eligible to join the Orioles until after the Red Wings' season ends on Sept. 4. Hemond said that the club has not decided whether to promote Mercedes at that time.
The Orioles had hoped to take a look at Mercedes in the leadoff spot after the Sept. 1 roster expansion, but it is not known whether his second suspension of the season will affect their plans. Mercedes was suspended by the club the first time for insubordination.
Cal Ripken makes error
Cal Ripken bounced a throw past first baseman Davis in the third inning for his eighth error of the season, but it was only his third throwing error in his past 481 games.(1,474 throws).
Orioles to honor Colts
The Orioles will hold a pre-game ceremony in honor of the Baltimore Colts on Sept. 15. The club will team with the Maryland Stadium Authority and the Greater Baltimore Committee to re-create the sights and sounds of a Colts game at Memorial Stadium.
The festivities include a performance by the Colts Marching Band and appearances by longtime Colts announcer Harry Shriver and broadcaster Chuck Thompson.
Oates said Monday that P Dave Johnson probably would start this weekend against the Minnesota Twins, but the club lists Sunday's starter as undecided. . . . Candiotti ranks as the seventh toughest pitcher to hit in the American League, but Joe Orsulak (.529), Milligan (.444) and Mike Devereaux (.375) are hitting a combined .471 off him lifetime.... P Bob Milacki was sent home early for the second straight day with inflamed tonsils. If the condition persists, his next start might be moved back a day or two.... Horn ended an O-for-16 streak with a pinch single in the eighth inning.