Left-hander Arthur Rhodes will begin an injury rehabilitation assignment this weekend in Rochester, N.Y. He'll pitch for the Triple-A Red Wings on Sunday against the Richmond Braves and XTC could remain with the minor-league club for up to 30 days.
Rhodes, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on May 18, pitched a pair of three-inning simulated games during the past week and has gone through a series of defensive drills to determine whether his leg is sound.
"We need him, but we need the guy who pitched for us last year," manager Johnny Oates said. "He wasn't pitching very well when he got hurt."
True enough -- Rhodes had a 1-2 record and a 9.36 ERA when he went on the disabled list, so the club will want to get a good idea of how he is throwing before putting him back in the rotation.
Hammonds ties record
Rookie Jeffrey Hammonds tied a club record when he singled to right field in the second inning.
He has hit safely in each of his first six games at the major-league level, tying the club mark for a hitting streak at the start of a career held by Chito Martinez.
Segui hits .403 in June
First baseman David Segui had one hit in three at-bats last night to finish the month of June with a .403 batting average.
He is the first Oriole to hit .400 or better in a month since Eddie Murray hit .441 in April 1982.
Ripken digging out
Shortstop Cal Ripken has been trying to dig out of an early-season slump, and he has succeeded in running up some respectable run-production numbers, but he has not been able to raise his batting average
So, he continues to work in the cage with batting coach Greg Biagini and assistant GM Frank Robinson.
"He's having better at-bats and better swings," Biagini said.
"He is hitting the ball hard, but you can't do it all with one swing. You can't go from .225 to .250 in two games. He's allowing himself to get the bat head out and drive the ball. That was a concern earlier in the season, but now he can take a ball at will and drive it."
Ripken has four home runs and 16 RBI in his past 18 games.
Despite much concern about his offensive performance, he's on pace to hit 19 homers and produce 82 RBI.
Hemond on Fisk
General manager Roland Hemond confirmed that he had a conversation with agent Jack Sands about veteran catcher Carlton Fisk, who was released on Monday by the Chicago White Sox, but that the Orioles are content with their catching situation as it is.
"He called me," Hemond said. "I have always been a big Carlton Fisk fan, but we are satisfied with what he have."
Right-hander Alan Mills was available to pitch last night. He returned from the four-game suspension imposed by American League president Bobby Brown for his part in the June 6 brawl with the Seattle Mariners at Camden Yards.
The suspension couldn't have been timed better, even though the Orioles lost three of the four games that Mills missed. He had thrown so many pitches in Friday night's game against the New York Yankees that he probably would not have been available until Tuesday night -- a night he was not needed.