Left-hander Arthur Rhodes apparently suffered a tear in his left knee Saturday and will undergo arthroscopic surgery today to determine the extent of the damage.
Rhodes was placed on the 15-day disabled list and likely will be out at least three weeks, but the club has not announced who will replace him on the roster.
"There will be more discussion tonight and maybe some tomorrow," manager Johnny Oates said yesterday. "We won't need anyone to take his place until Thursday."
Speculation has centered on veteran left-hander Jamie Moyer, who is off to a 6-0 start with the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings. He was signed as a free agent during the off-season and competed for a place in the major-league rotation in spring training.
Rhodes was 1-2 with a 9.36 ERA in his first six starts of the season. He had given up at least four runs in each of his first five starts, but showed signs of improvement in a May 9 start against Toronto. He was hoping to build on that outing when his knee gave out before Saturday's scheduled start against Detroit.
"I was coming along real good," he said. "I was starting to get my groove back. I guess that's just the way it goes."
That's the way it has been going all season for the Orioles, who already have two key players on the disabled list. Mike Devereaux has been out of action for two weeks with a sprained sternoclavicular joint and Harold Baines has been sidelined 12 days with a strained muscle in his rib cage.
Rhodes remembers a period during 1990 when he suffered from tendinitis in the same knee, but had not experienced any more soreness in the area until Saturday.
"I probably re-hurt it running," he said. "I think I just tore it a little bit. The doctor said that if they scope it and it's not too bad, it might only be two or three weeks before I can start throwing again."