Sore left knee to idle Baines for several days

Orioles notebook

April 17, 1993|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

Designated hitter Harold Baines, who had appeared in seven of the Orioles' first eight games, will be out of action for at least the next several days because of persistent soreness in his left knee.

Baines underwent a magnetic resonance imaging on the knee after the Orioles returned from the six-game trip to Seattle and Texas. The test was negative, but he received a cortisone shot to reduce the inflammation before last night's game.

"It had been bothering me for seven or eight days, but I could play with it," Baines said. "It got to the point where I felt I needed something done. I hope this works."

He is no stranger to knee problems. Baines has had knee surgery three times, but always on his right knee. He was forced out of action temporarily this spring with swelling in the right knee, but after having fluid drained from it, he returned to play regularly during the exhibition season.

The Orioles have every reason to believe that he will return soon. Though knee soreness has become a way of life for Baines, he has been on the disabled list only once in his 13-plus years in the major leagues.

Baines cannot trace this latest problem to any incident. He said it flared up during the first week of the season and worsened enough to require medical attention.

"I've known about it for four or five days," manager Johnny Oates said, "but he's probably led me to believe that it wasn't hurting him as much as it was. His line to me always was, 'I can hit, but I can't steal any bases.

"That doesn't tell me much. I've got a bunch of guys who can't steal bases."

No one is looking beyond the next few days. If Baines doesn't show improvement in the next few days, the club would have to think about putting him on the disabled list and he might be forced to undergo further testing. Everyone is hoping that it won't come to that.

"It was recommended that this would be best for him," Oates said. "Hopefully, in a couple of days, he'll be fine."

Poole enjoying his good health

Left-hander Jim Poole has made three appearances this season, and he had yet to allow a base runner. He is healthy again after a 1992 season in which a shoulder injury undercut him early in spring training, but he still is taking it day by day.

"I feel great," he said. "It was great to go out there in Texas on a cold night and not feel anything. That was just one more question I had to answer."

He has adjusted well to what could be a difficult role. Oates often uses him for a single left-handed hitter in a tough situation. He has pitched 1 1/3 innings in three games.

"I think this takes more patience," he said. "You don't know how long you're going to wait to go out and pitch for a batter or two. Maybe in another situation, that wouldn't be much fun, but I've got a great right-handed bullpen out there with me. It's a great situation. We complement each other really well."

Hoiles steals one

Catcher Chris Hoiles stole second base in the second inning last night to record the first stolen base of his major-league career. He did so in his 240th major-league game. Only five active non-pitchers -- Cecil Fielder, Mackey Sasser, Sam Horn, Charlie O'Brien and Greg Myers -- have played more major-league games without recording a stolen base.

Oriole Park tours

The summer tour schedule at Oriole Park at Camden Yards runs from April 1 to Sept. 30. Mondays through Saturdays, tours will be given every half-hour from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. On Sundays there will be five tours between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. No tours will be given when the Orioles play an afternoon home game. Tickets are sold only on the day of the tours and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets go on sale each morning at 9:30 a.m. and on Sundays at noon at the Orioles Baseball Store located on the first floor of the warehouse. Tickets are $4 for adults, $2.50 for seniors and $1.50 for children. Private tours are available for groups of 15 or more by calling (410) 547-6234.

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