Mills improving, awaits more testsPitcher to be checked...

Orioles notebook

September 20, 1992|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

MILWAUKEE — Mills improving, awaits more tests

Pitcher to be checked for nerve damage

MILWAUKEE -- Relief pitcher Alan Mills appears to be rebounding from the arm soreness that has kept him out of action for the past week, but he will seek a second medical opinion to make sure there is no nerve damage in his elbow.

Mills threw on the side before Friday night's game against the Milwaukee Brewers and told manager Johnny Oates that he experienced no significant pain or stiffness, but later told a different story to the club's trainers.

"He threw and he didn't notice anything other than the normal soreness after you haven't thrown," Oates said, "but he told the trainers that he wants to see a neurologist just to make sure there's no nerve problem."

He will get his wish. The Orioles are setting up an appointment for Mills to have his elbow examined soon after the club gets back to Baltimore.

Mills has been very hesitant to talk to the media about the injury, politely deferring questions about his condition to club officials. He has not appeared in a game since Sept. 13.

Williamson progressing

Right-hander Mark Williamson pitched 2 2/3 innings in Friday night's game and reported no problems. He has worked four innings and given up one run on six hits in his three appearances since coming back from elbow surgery, but this was the first time he has extended himself.

"It wasn't bad," Williamson said. "I had better thought processes this time. I'm just trying to prove I'm healthy again. It was cold out there and it got loose real quick."

Williamson has missed almost the entire season.

He underwent arthroscopic elbow surgery in May and delayed his return when he suffered a sprained ankle in July.

Now, he wants to re-establish himself as an effective set-up man during the final weeks of the regular season.

"[Friday] was a pretty good test," he said. "Even between innings, I didn't tighten up. Before the surgery, I needed 15 pitches to get loose again."

Poole pitches again

Left-hander Jim Poole faced one batter in yesterday's game, pitching back-to-back games for the first time this season. He has pitched well both times, and Oates said that he will not hesitate to use him in a pivotal lefty-lefty matchup.

"He has thrown the ball well," Oates said. "I have no problem using either Jim or Willie [Williamson] if I need them."

Hoiles hits 20th

Catcher Chris Hoiles homered off Brewers right-hander Chris Bosio in the second inning yesterday to become only the second catcher in Orioles history to hit 20 home runs in a season. The first was Gus Triandos, who hit 30 in 1958 and 25 in 1959. Mickey Tettleton hit 26 homers in 1989 for the Orioles, but he only hit 18 of them in games he appeared behind the plate. Bonus stat: The homer was Hoiles' 12th in a row with no one on base and his bases-empty shot of the year. The last time he hit a homer with someone on base was May 16.

Big hitters

There is only one team in the American League that has more hitters with at least 17 home runs than the Orioles quartet of Mike Devereaux (22), Hoiles (20), Brady Anderson (19) and Leo Gomez (17). The Detroit Tigers have five: Cecil Fielder (32), Rob Deer (29), Mickey Tettleton (29), Travis Fryman (20) and Lou Whitaker (18).

Wishful thinking?

The Orioles will begin advance scouting of potential postseason opponents tomorrow. Aficionados of baseball behind the scenes might be interested to know who will be shadowing the various divisional contenders: Oakland Athletics -- John Cox and Ed Sprague; Minnesota -- Ray Crone and Mike Ledna; Atlanta Braves -- Gordon Goldsberry and Paul Fryer; Montreal Expos -- John Stokoe and Jim Howard; Pittsburgh Pirates -- Fred Uhlman Sr. and Curt Motton.

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