Gomez has wrist surgery, expected to miss 4...

Orioles notebook

July 23, 1993|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

MINNEAPOLIS — Gomez has wrist surgery, expected to miss 4 weeks

MINNEAPOLIS -- Third baseman Leo Gomez underwent surgery yesterday to remove a cyst from his left wrist and is expected to be out of action for another four weeks.

The operation was performed by hand specialist Dr. Hugh Baugher, who also is treating Gomez for a possible case of carpal tunnel syndrome -- a nerve irritation that causes pain in the wrist and hand.

Baugher told club officials the surgery was successful and Gomez should be able to begin working out in about two weeks. The club does not expect him to be ready to play for at least two weeks after that.

In the meantime, utility man Tim Hulett will play full time at third base. . . unless club officials go outside the organization for a replacement.

"I see Timmy playing most -- if not all -- of the time as a starter," manager Johnny Oates said. "He's done it before. When [Craig] Worthington went down [in 1990], he played 30 straight days at third base."

Hulett has played well in reserve. He entered last night's game hitting .322 in 115 at-bats.

"He's prepared," Oates said. "I think he wants the opportunity to play every day. He accepts his role as Leo's backup, but I would be disappointed if he didn't think he could have been the full-time player all along."

Nevertheless, the Orioles continue to consider the possibility of acquiring help, and Oates confirmed yesterday that Cincinnati Reds third baseman Chris Sabo has come up in conversations with general manager Roland Hemond.

"He has been mentioned," Oates said. "That's all I'm going to say. We've talked about a lot of people. But there are no serious talks with anybody."

O'Brien considered

Veteran first baseman Pete O'Brien, who was released Wednesday by the Seattle Mariners, apparently is of some interest to the Orioles, who could use another left-handed hitter on the bench.

A source said that O'Brien, 35, may be approached by the club, but there has been speculation that he may announce his retirement and enter the ministry. O'Brien hit .256 with seven homers and 27 RBI for Seattle.

Still, the possibility of finishing his career with a postseason appearance might make the Orioles attractive.

Anderson still sore

Left fielder Brady Anderson was back in the starting lineup last night, but he still is feeling the effects of a swollen right thumb.

"He's not 100 percent," Oates said. "The thumb has been bothering him. That's the reason he didn't start the other day [Wednesday]."

Anderson has been plagued by a variety of physical problems this season. He has played with soreness in both knees and spent time on the disabled list with the chickenpox. The thumb problem, he said, has been bothering him for the past month.

Milestone hit

Kirby Puckett's double in the first inning was the 329th of his career, tying him with Tony Oliva for the Twins' career record. The double, which came in Puckett's 6,000th career at-bat, also tied him with Oliva for second on the club hit list with 1,917.

It was eventful first inning for Puckett, who scored his 870th run to tie Oliva for third on the club list.

Defensive showdown

The series at the Metrodome brings together the top two defensive teams in the major leagues.

The Twins entered last night's game with a major-league low 52 errors and a .985 fielding percentage that was second only to the Orioles' .986 mark.

But it was not a perfect evening. Twins second baseman Chuck Knoblauch made an error in the first inning.

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