Baines rests sore knee, poor stats vs. Fernandez Olson, Hoiles game to play in classic

Orioles notebook

July 03, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Harold Baines was out of the Orioles' starting lineup last night because his left knee is still giving him some trouble and manager Johnny Oates thought the timing was right to give his designated hitter a rest.

"One of the things we said we were going to do after Harold got his last [cortisone] shot was not let it happen again," said Oates. "If I had needed him he could have played.

"But he'd played in 10 straight games and was only 3-for-22 against [Chicago starter] Alex Fernandez, so it seemed like a good time to give him a rest. If we can get two games out of him here [in the four-game series against the White Sox] and two in Kansas City, that will be enough."

"It's bothering me," said the soft-spoken Baines, who said he's had more trouble with the knee this year than he's had in the past few seasons. Baines received an injection two weeks ago, his second this season.

"He probably shouldn't have more than one more this season," said Oates, "so this is preventive as much as anything else."

Baines, who is hitting .297 with four home runs and 27 RBI in 172 at-bats, started 45 of the club's first 79 games. Although that is below the pace the Orioles had hoped for when they obtained him from the Oakland A's last winter, Oates said he wasn't disappointed.

"We had talked about him playing some in right field because he played a few games there last year, but I knew in spring training that wasn't going to happen," said Oates. "If we can get 100-plus games out of him, I'll be satisfied."

At his current pace, Baines would start 92 games and log about 350 at-bats for the season. Oates said his plans call for Baines to be back in the lineup tonight and then sit out tomorrow's series finale.

Bielecki's debut

The debut of Mike Bielecki (Dundalk) with the Orioles' Triple-A Rochester farm team was an inauspicious one, but there was one encouraging note.

The right-hander, signed after being released by the Indians, allowed 10 hits and five runs in five innings in a 7-1 loss to Richmond Thursday night. The bright spot was that Bielecki struck out six against a team many consider to be the best in the minor leagues.

Rhodes road back begins

Arthur Rhodes starts his rehabilitation assignment with Rochester tomorrow. He will make a minimum of three starts and has no set date to return to the Orioles.

"We're not making any promises," said Oates. "He needs to go out and pitch -- and pitch well. We'll evaluate him as he goes along. He has three starts scheduled -- tomorrow, Friday and a week from Thursday and then we'll see where he is."

Rhodes could remain with Rochester on rehabilitation for as long as 30 days. At that point he'll either be activated, continued on the disabled list, or optioned to Rochester.

The left-hander has been sidelined since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee May 18.

Roster moves rethought

Oates said that the uncertain condition of Baines could be a reason to make a roster move sooner than anticipated. A day earlier, Oates had indicated he probably would keep 12 pitchers until Brady Anderson came off the disabled list Thursday.

But last night he said that was now unlikely and indicated a move would be made tomorrow, when Paul Carey is expected to rejoin the club. Carey was sent to Rochester when Sherman Obando came off the disabled list June 24.

When Obando returned to the DL three days later, Anthony Telford took his place as the Orioles added a 12th pitcher while Alan Mills was serving a five-day suspension.

Baseball rules require that a player remain in the minors at least 10 days after being optioned and Carey meets that requirement today.

Miscellaneous

With last night's loss, Orioles ace Mike Mussina has a two-game losing streak, tying the longest of his major-league career. . . . Mark McLemore extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games and Harold Reynolds extended his to nine.

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