MINNEAPOLIS — Anderson to return from Rochester, but call-ups probably will 0) be limited
MINNEAPOLIS -- The major-league roster limit increases from 25 to 40 today, but the Baltimore Orioles won't need more than a few extra spaces to audition minor-league prospects.
Most of them already are here.
Manager John Oates said yesterday that the number of call-ups would be very low, but he would not say which of the club's promising minor-leaguers will be recalled.
There will be at least two roster moves today. Outfielder Brady Anderson, who was optioned to the Class AAA Rochester Red Wings 10 days ago, will be available to play in the series finale against the Minnesota Twins. So will reliever Mark Williamson, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 14 with a strained muscle in his rib cage.
"Aside from that," Oates said, "any other announcements will come from Baltimore."
During the past few weeks, Oates has expressed an interest in seeing a number of players, one of whom -- pitcher Arthur Rhodes -- already has joined the Orioles' starting rotation. Luis Mercedes was another, but his status has been uncertain since he was suspended by the International League for throwing his batting helmet at an opponent.
Mesa tests arm
Right-hander Jose Mesa threw in the bullpen yesterday afternoon and reported no pain in the sore right elbow that forced him to the disabled list. Mesa could come off the DL next weekend to face the Kansas City Royals at Memorial Stadium.
"The rotation is set through the first day at home," Oates said. "He could pitch the second home game [Saturday]."
Milligan still sore
First baseman Randy Milligan still is experiencing inflammation in the ankle he sprained in spring training, but will wait until the end of the season to give it an extended rest.
"It's been the same all season," Milligan said. "Nothing's changed. I don't really want to talk about it until the season is over."
Milligan has been able to play through the pain and has been told it will not subside until he rests his ankle for several weeks.
"I won't do anything for the first six weeks of the off-season," he said, "and I'll probably gain 20 pounds. If it's still hurting after that, something is going to have to be done."
Big day for youth movement
The lineup for today's series finale will include six rookies, the most
that Oates can put in the starting lineup without playing anyone out of position.
David Segui will spell Milligan at first base, and Juan Bell will get back into the starting lineup at second. Three others already play regularly. Leo Gomez, who got the night off last night, will return to third base, Chris Hoiles will catch and Chito Martinez will play right field. Rhodes will make his third major-league start.
"We're going with our rookie lineup," Oates said. "I wanted to give Randy a day off on the AstroTurf. Billy [Ripken] has been playing every day, so I wanted to get Juan in there."
Orsulak's big month
Outfielder Joe Orsulak hit .384 (38-for-99) in August. The last ,, time an Orioles player did better was 1982, when Eddie Murray batted .441 in April. Only two Orioles have been in the .390s since then. John Shelby hit .395 in April 1983 and Cal Ripken hit .393 in September 1983.
Hall of Fame QB Johnny Unitas will take part in the Orioles salute to Baltimore's football history. He will join 3 other NFL Hall of Famers in the pre-game ceremonies Sept. 15. . . . The Orioles are on a pace to make just 92 errors. If they make fewer than 100 this year, they would be the first team in major-league history to have 3 straight seasons with 100 or fewer.
Twins option pitchers
The Minnesota Twins optioned the two pitchers who took a beating in Friday night's 11-5 Orioles victory and recalled two minor-league prospects in time for them to be eligible for postseason play.
Starter Tom Edens, who gave up five runs on six hits in just 1 1/3 innings Friday, was optioned to Class A Kenosha for the final days of the minor-league season. So was left-hander Allan Anderson, who took his lumps in middle relief. Both can be recalled when the minor-league season ends later this week.