Hoiles' next cut to be with a scalpel, not bat
Catcher to undergo surgery for wrist
Catcher Chris Hoiles will undergo surgery a week from today to repair his right wrist, which apparently did not heal properly after he fractured it June 21.
Hoiles, who missed two months of the season after he was hit on the wrist by a pitch from then-New York Yankees right-hander Tim Leary, will be available to play during the final six games of the season, but it is unlikely he will see much action.
"They are going to go in there," manager Johnny Oates said. "This is the only way to guarantee that Chris will be ready for spring training."
The decision apparently was made late Sunday, after Hoiles consulted with hand specialist Dr. Hugh Baugher. He apparently had the choice of resting the wrist during the off-season and hoping the healing process would take care of the problem, or addressing the situation immediately.
"I don't think Chris was convinced it was the right thing to do," Oates said.
"Everybody talked about it and realized it was the best thing."
If Hoiles came back too soon from the wrist fracture, it probably could not be helped.
The projected recovery time was about eight weeks and he returned on schedule, but the soreness persisted and eventually convinced club officials that further medical attention was warranted.
Oates: Lineup changes coming
Oates said last night that he will use a lot of players in the starting lineup during the final six games of the season, but don't look for the starter at one position to change.
"Manny Alexander won't be making any starts at shortstop -- I can tell you that much," Oates said. "But he'll get a chance to play some this week."
Defense doesn't rest
If anyone thought the Orioles defense would deteriorate once the pennant race was over, Bill Ripken proved otherwise in the second inning. Ripken made a spectacular diving play to rob Scott Cooper of a run-scoring hit.
Another new ballpark
The Orioles will add another new ballpark next year.
The club has signed a two-year working agreement with the Albany (Ga.) Polecats of the Single-A South Atlantic League, and the Polecats are scheduled to move into the brand-new Paul Eames Sports Complex.
The 4,500-seat facility is under construction.
"The Paul Eames Sports Complex will give us four of the newest facilities in professional baseball," Orioles assistant general manager Doug Melvin said.
The other three are the 2-year-old Single-A facility at Frederick, the proposed stadium in Bowie and Oriole Park.
Milacki to start
Right-hander Bob Milacki will get one more chance to start this year, facing Detroit in the second game of a two-game series tomorrow night at Tiger Stadium.
Milacki last started on Sept. 1, when he gave up a run on four hits in eight innings against the Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum. There is no guarantee that he'll be back next year, so it could be his last start in an Orioles uniform.
Oates won't speculate beyond Thursday's series opener in Cleveland.
Ben McDonald starts tonight's opener in Detroit and Mike Mussina will start Thursday.
It appears that either Craig Lefferts or Rick Sutcliffe will be passed over in the rotation.