MIAMI -- Relief pitcher Gregg Olson reopened a cut on the middle finger of his pitching hand during the ninth inning of Friday's exhibition game against the Toronto Blue Jays and will be out of action at least the next few days.
Olson has sliced the cuticle area on the same finger several times during his major-league career, always while snapping off his curveball. The problem is considered more of a nuisance than a significant injury, but manager John Oates indicated that the latest cut was deeper than usual.
"This was a pretty good one," he said, "but I think he'll be OK in a couple of days."
Oates said he does not think the cut will endanger Olson's chances of being available on Opening Day.
Orioles defeat Blue Jays
Mike Devereaux and Sam Horn homered in a four-run fifth inning last night, as the Orioles defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-2, before a crowd of 16,643 at Joe Robbie Stadium.
Devereaux continues to be one of the club's most productive hitters. His three-run shot off Blue Jays right-hander Todd Stottlemyre was his second home run of the spring. He is batting .323 and is tied with Chris Hoiles for second on the club with 10 RBI.
Horn followed immediately with an opposite-field drive that was his first home run of the exhibition season; he has appeared in only seven games since returning from a hamstring injury.
Third baseman Leo Gomez also homered, driving a ball into the (( bleachers high above left-center field in the eighth inning for his second home run of the spring. Gomez has been struggling at the plate and in the field -- he had a pair of errors in Friday's game -- but he took out his frustration on Blue Jays pitcher Ricky Trlicek.
Cal Ripken stays hot
Shortstop Cal Ripken went 3-for-3, raising his spring average to .407. Ripken leads the club in a number of offensive
departments, including hits (22) and RBI (16).
Davis solid again
Right-hander Storm Davis worked four scoreless innings, giving up just three hits and striking out five in his fifth appearance of the spring.
He is a little behind the other potential starters because of the inflamed tendon that forced him out of his second start of the spring, but he continues to pitch effectively. He has given up just two earned runs in 14 1/3 innings (1.26 ERA).
Oates on Sherman
Rule V draftee Darrell Sherman simply did not hit enough to make a serious bid for the leadoff job.
The Orioles waived Sherman and the San Diego Padres reclaimed him for half the $50,000 draft price, ending a leadoff audition that never really started.
"He wasn't on base enough to show us what he could do," Oates said. "I couldn't justify keeping him over anyone on our club, so we had to waive him and they took him back."
The draft rules require the selecting club to keep the draftee on its major-league roster all year or offer him back to his original club at half price.
Opening Day starter?
Oates announced yesterday that he will announce his Opening Day starting pitcher tomorrow afternoon. He plans to announce the starters for second, third and fourth regular-season games at the same time.
Right-hander Rick Sutcliffe is expected to get the ball for the opener April 6, but Oates has left open the possibility that he will juggle the rotation during the final week of the exhibition season.
Jose Mesa did nothing to hurt his chances of making the club with his six-inning performance against minor-league competition Friday. His scoreless-innings streak reached 20. Oates said he would be in the rotation if he makes the team.
"Let's not play any games here," Oates said. "Jose Mesa is not going to pitch in relief. If he is on our ballclub, he will be the fifth starter."
Mesa's fastball was clocked at 93 mph during the game against the Chicago White Sox's Triple-A team, the Vancouver Canadians, at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota.
"He looked good," Oates said. "He overmatched them, but they were Double-A and Triple-A players. He only gave up a couple of hard-hit balls."
Oates cools off
Oates was fuming when he left the ballpark after Friday's five-error performance against the Blue Jays, but he had cooled off by the time the team arrived in Miami for the two-game series at Joe Robbie Stadium.
"I was upset because we've got to concentrate better than that," Oates said. "We're going to face a lot of distractions over the next couple of weeks and I think we need to get off to a fast start. We can't afford to be distracted that first week.
"I just want to guard against our ballclub going through what happened the last three days of last season. We got so caught up in the final weekend stuff, we forgot we still had three games to play."
Oates expressed concern about the demands that might be placed on the club during the week of festivities that will mark the opening of the ballpark.