SARASOTA, Fla. -- Brady Anderson's bid to win the job as Orioles leadoff hitter will be delayed for at least two exhibition games.
Anderson, a left-handed hitting outfielder, is recovering from a slight sprain of his right ankle, suffered a month ago while working out.
As a precautionary measure, manager John Oates will keep Anderson out of the first two preseason games, the second of which will be played on the artificial surface at the Kansas City Royals complex in Haines City.
"It's a little nagging thing right now," said Oates. "But he's not running 100 percent, and I'm not going to push him."
There was little evidence in camp yesterday that the hitters were catching up to the pitchers.
For the most part, batting practice was dominated by hard throwers. Storm Davis, in particular, impressed pitching coach Dick Bosman. "I didn't see him throw," said Oates, "but Bos said Storm threw the ball very good."
Among the returning pitchers, reliever Todd Frohwirth tormented the hitters on field No. 2, where a succession of young pitchers were dominating. Jim Lewis, Brad Pennington and Arthur Rhodes were the others who impressed minor-league pitching coaches Steve Luebber and Moe Drabowsky.
Focus on bunting
Bunting is another area of concentration for the Orioles this spring. The squad had been working in the batting cage and yesterday moved on to the field, bunting against the pitching machine.
One of those who, perhaps surprisingly, has shown an ability to bunt is first baseman Glenn Davis. "He wants to work on it," said Oates. "He said if they give it to him and we're down two runs he'll take it -- and that's OK with me."
The bunt was a major part of the game plan for shortstop Cal Ripken's monster performance last year, particularly in the first half of the season.
Club president Larry Lucchino will represent the Orioles at league meetings in Chicago tomorrow and Thursday and then return to camp in time for the start of exhibition play. . . . The Cardinals have named Bob Tewksbury to face Bob Milacki on Friday in the first exhibition game. . . . The first "B" game of the season will be played a week from today against the Phillies in Clearwater. The game will be played in the morning, and the same teams will meet in the regularly scheduled game that afternoon in St. Petersburg. . . . Rick Dempsey's son John, a catcher in the Cardinals organization, will visit with his dad in Orioles camp starting tomorrow.