Injured catcher Chris Hoiles could be back in the starting lineup for tonight's series opener against the California Angels.
Hoiles, who has been out the past three weeks with a strained muscle in his lower back, worked out yesterday and said he was ready to play.
"As far as I know, he's going to play," manager Johnny Oates said before last night's game. "We talked this afternoon. He said he feels close physically. I just think that he needs to be mentally satisfied that he can do everything he needs to do."
Hoiles has been taking batting practice for several days without any problem, but he needed to assure himself that he could come out of the crouch and throw the ball without aggravating the muscle strain.
"Hopefully, I'll be out there tomorrow, if everything feels all right," he said.
Glenn Davis disagreement
No one is framing it as a family feud, but there is a difference of opinion between the Orioles and first baseman Glenn Davis over the need for him to go back to the minor leagues for another injury rehabilitation assignment.
"I think Glenn is ready to go out on rehab," Oates said. "We can't make him go out on rehab, but I think it would be good for him. It would be very hard for me to justify putting him on the roster and taking someone else off the roster when he hasn't had an at-bat in two months."
Davis said yesterday that he feels ready to play at the major-league level, but did not rule out another trip to the minor leagues.
"That's all being discussed right now," Davis said.
The veteran first baseman accepted a minor-league option earlier this season to try to work out of an offensive slump. But just a few days into his stay with the Rochester Red Wings, he suffered a broken jaw when he was punched by a bouncer at a Virginia Beach nightspot. If that wasn't bad enough, he was hit in the head by a sharp foul ball soon after he resumed workouts with the major-league club.
The minor-league season ends in less than two weeks, so time is of the essence. Davis could wait and hope to be put on the roster Sept. 1, but that might backfire.
"If he waits, it's going to be pretty hard to put him up there in a tough situation when he hasn't had any at-bats," Oates said. "That's what I've been trying to share with him. I want him to go, so I can have confidence when I need him."
Rangers' Davis goes on DL
Rangers outfielder Butch Davis got hit in the head by a throw as he legged out his inside-the-park home run on Sunday, but that was just the half of it. The Rangers announced yesterday that he also suffered a strained hamstring on the play.
Davis was placed on the 15-day disabled list and infielder Jeff Huson was recalled to take his place.
Reliever Gregg Olson played catch on Sunday and reported no ill effects afterward, but he was told to take the day off yesterday. He'll likely resume throwing today.
Oates said yesterday that Jeffrey Hammonds and Leo Gomez both looked to be about five to seven days from being ready to return to action.
Mussina on Mussina
Mike Mussina said he isn't in midseason form yet, but is pleased with the way he threw in his first start since returning from back and shoulder soreness.
"I feel pretty close, but it's still a little like spring training because I haven't thrown competitively that much," he said.
Mussina has not been completely healthy since early in the season, but he won't second-guess his decision to try and pitch through the discomfort before the All-Star break.
"That's not my nature," he said. "Maybe I should have done this or done that or taken a day off here or there, but I'm a competitive guy. You live and learn."