Gregg Olson has joined the list of Baltimore Orioles who will report to the Florida Instructional League after the season.
Olson will spend "a week, maybe a little more" in Sarasota "to work on some things I never have a chance to correct during the season."
Manager John Oates said that will include holding runners on base, the weakest part of Olson's game, and perhaps experimenting with a third pitch to go with his 90-plus fastball and devastating curveball.
"He never gets the opportunity to experiment during the season," said Oates. "The game is on the line every time he throws a pitch."
The idea is to get Olson to have some groundwork to take into his winter training so that he won't have to lay a foundation in spring training.
Oates said he doesn't necessarily think his ace closer needs to develop a totally separate third pitch.
"Maybe a different kind of fastball with some sinking action would do it," he said. "Something that runs in to right-handed hitters."
Olson asked reporters: "Do you think I need another pitch?" and received a mostly negative response and said only that he will "work on some other things" in addition to holding runners.
"I had thought about this and they [management] brought it to my attention," he said. "Once you get into the season, you don't want to start messing with things. Now is the time to do it."
He said he is searching for something that will not detract from his effectiveness to hitters, but will keep base runners more honest.
"If this is going to take away my effectiveness to the plate, we're going to have to look for something else," he said.
Another shot for Johnson
Dave Johnson, hammered in his last outing by the Boston Red Sox, gets another chance tonight.
"It gives you incentive to go out and prove yourself when you're in a game that affects the pennant race," he said. "No way I'm going to turn around my season now, but I can still win some games."
Johnson has replaced injured Ben McDonald, who has been shut down for the season because of an injury, in the rotation.
"The last time I pitched against these guys was ugly," he said. "I threw 40 pitches, about two of them where I wanted. I didn't have a clue and I ended up getting hit around. It was just a horrible outing."
Davis still ailing
Glenn Davis was out of the lineup for the third straight game with a strain in his back, and his status is day-to-day.
"It's just a little strain causing some spasms in the mid-back," he said. The problem is preventing Davis from being able to swing the bat but is on the left side, opposite of the trapezius muscle that kept him on the disabled list for 3 1/2 months.
The Orioles played their 11th straight errorless game last night, setting a club record. The 1962 team had 10 in a row. . . . Mike Greenwell returned to the Red Sox lineup after missing 4 games with an injured right groin and right knee. He was hurt running out a ground ball against the Orioles Sept. 17. . . . Joe Orsulak recorded his 21st outfield assist to extend his Orioles record. He threw out Jody Reed at second base as Reed tried to stretch his hit to left field. . . . Approximately 2,000 tickets remain for the Oct. 4 game against Detroit and 2,600 are left for the game the next day. The final game at Memorial Stadium is a sellout.