Ailing wrist may finish Hoiles for the season Team doesn't want to aggravate injury

Orioles notebook

September 28, 1992|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

Catcher Chris Hoiles was not in the starting lineup for yesterday's game and there is the possibility that he will not play again this year.

Jeff Tackett started yesterday. Mark Parent will start the club's final home game today. Manager Johnny Oates said that he will "play it by ear" with Hoiles, but he hinted that the season might be over for his front-line catcher.

"The bottom line is, we want to make sure he's 100 percent ready to go to spring training next year," Oates said. "We're already talking to Chris and the doctors and determining what is the best way to go."

Hoiles was out of action for two months after his right wrist was fractured by a pitch in late June. He returned in mid-August, but has been playing with pain in the area throughout the past five weeks.

He still holds out hope of returning to the lineup, though the club's elimination from the pennant race leaves little reason to risk aggravation of the injury.

"I'm not going to shut it down completely," Hoiles said. "I'm still available, but they'll probably give the other guys some playing time. I'm still going to play some."

But Hoiles confirmed that the reduced work schedule is aimed at reducing stress on the wrist, which could require further medical treatment at the end of the season.

"We're going to see if this helps," Hoiles said. "I was feeling a lot better -- then we went to Milwaukee and the cold weather and a couple of other things affected it."

Hoiles said that he would undergo an MRI [Magnetic Resonance Imaging] after the season to determine if there was any ligament damage when New York Yankees pitcher Tim Leary hit him on the wrist on June 21. If anything shows up, surgery may be a

possibility.

Milacki on future

Right-hander Bob Milacki doesn't know where he'll be next year, but he thinks that expansion will help him stay in the major leagues one way or another.

"I've got to think that there are going to be a lot of pitchers picked off the other teams, and that could open some doors," Milacki said. "I think it all depends on whether they want me here. It's all up in the air."

The Orioles don't figure to protect Milacki, whose $1.18 million salary might make him unattractive to an expansion team. The question is whether the club tenders him a contract in December, since it must offer him no less than $944,000 for the 1993 season.

It has been a difficult season for Milacki, who was optioned to the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings on July 15. He went to the minor leagues and compiled a 7-1 record before returning on Sept. 1 to turn in a solid performance in a spot start against the Oakland Athletics.

"You've got to make the best of things," said Milacki (6-7, 5.88 ERA). "That's what I did when I went down to Triple-A. I could have gone down there with a bad attitude, but I didn't. I thought I pitched well down there and I pitched well in my one chance to start Sept. 1."

Anderson back

Brady Anderson was back in the starting lineup for yesterday's game, the day after he was hit in the head by a pitch from left-hander Frank Viola on Saturday.

Anderson missed the second game of the doubleheader on Saturday because of the headache that resulted from the beaning, but said he felt fine when he got to the ballpark yesterday.

Saturday review

Left-hander Craig Lefferts pitched 7 1/3 innings and Gregg Olson got the last five outs to save a 2-0 victory over the Red Sox in the second game of the marathon rain-makeup doubleheader.

Cal Ripken broke a scoreless tie with an RBI double off Red Sox starter John Dopson in the sixth inning. Tackett drove home the only other run of the game with a single in the seventh.

It was the first American League victory for Lefferts, who was 0-2 in three previous starts for the Orioles.

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