BOSTON -- The Orioles have given up trying to guess when injured first baseman Glenn Davis will be ready to play. The club placed him on the 15-day disabled list yesterday and recalled rookie outfielder Luis Mercedes from the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings.
Davis has been out of action since last Wednesday, when he was scratched from the starting lineup with a muscle strain in the rib-cage area below his left shoulder. He was not expected to be out more than a couple of days, but team officials learned last year that trying to speculate on his physical condition is risky.
"I was told two days, then it was seven, and now it will be another seven or more," manager Johnny Oates said yesterday, when the team had a day off in the middle of a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox. "I just don't know."
Oates tried to clarify the situation Monday night.
"I confronted him last night on the phone. I wanted to know when he thought he would be back, and he said, 'I don't know.' So I told Roland [Hemond, general manager] I needed a righthanded hitter, and preferably Mercedes."
Davis, reached at his Baltimore home, declined to comment.
Yesterday's move was retroactive to April 7, meaning Davis would be eligible to return next Wednesday.
Mercedes probably will make his first start tomorrow night, when the Orioles face lefthander Joe Hesketh in the final game of the three-game series against the Red Sox.
"Unless something drastic happens, Luis will play leftfield and bat second for us Thursday and play rightfield and bat second against [Detroit Tigers left-hander Scott] Aldred this weekend," Oates said. "He'll get some playing time."