Hammonds and Gomez due backANAHEIM, Calif. -- Jeffrey...

September 01, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer Staff writer Pat O'Malley contributed to this article.

ANAHEIM, CALIF — Hammonds and Gomez due back

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Jeffrey Hammonds and Leo Gomez are scheduled to end their rehabilitation assignments and join the Orioles in time for tonight's game against the California Angels.

The status of Gomez wasn't quite as clear as that of Hammonds, on the disabled list since Aug. 7 with a herniated disk in the neck.

"We're going to see how he is after tonight's game," manager Johnny Oates said of Gomez last night. "He had a little swelling the other day."

Gomez, who underwent surgery on his left wrist, hasn't played for the Orioles since July 7. He hit .200 (3-for-15) in his first four games for Triple-A Rochester. Hammonds was 1-for-9 in three games with Double-A Bowie.

Glenn Davis, the other Oriole on injury rehab, joined Rochester last night after going 3-for-3 in his third game with Single-A Frederick.

Catcher Jeff Tackett will join the club in Oakland Friday, after spending the minimum 10-day stay with Rochester after being optioned by the Orioles.

The club is not expected to make any other additions to the roster, which can be expanded to 40 today, before returning home Monday.

Draft pick Hackett signs

Left-hander Jason Hackett, the Orioles' fourth-round pick and the 119th overall in the June draft, signed a bonus contract with the club last night at his home in Worton, in Kent County.

Hackett, the last of the Orioles' top 10 picks to sign, gave up a baseball scholarship to the University of Miami to sign for a package worth $157,000 -- a $70,000 bonus, $80,000 toward a college education and a $7,500 incentive bonus (contingent upon gradual progression in the organization).

Hackett, 6 feet 1 and 170 pounds, attended high school at Caravel Academy in Delaware, where he was 9-3 this spring. He had pitched in the Baltimore area last fall for the Oriolelanders, managed by Orioles scouting supervisor Jim Gilbert.

"He consistently hit 87 mph in a few games last fall, has a good fastball and slider, a [good] change and a loose, quick arm," Gilbert said. "He should move right up."

Hackett, 18, won't be assigned to a minor-league club until next spring.

"I flew to Miami last Thursday and was tempted to start college, but over the weekend I decided I wanted to begin my pro career," Hackett said. "My dad called Mr. Gilbert Monday night, and the Orioles upped the offer. I told him I was coming home to sign."

Not such a bad month

All things considered, the Orioles' 15-14 record in August is a lot better than it sounds.

Seven players -- Mike Mussina, Gregg Olson, Chris Hoiles, Rick Sutcliffe, Hammonds, Gomez and Davis -- spent time on the disabled list. The team ERA for the month (5.54) is the highest in the American League and the 22 errors represents a one-month high for this season.

Devo takes the stage

Mike Devereaux, a daytime soap opera fan, went Hollywood on his day off here Monday. The Orioles center fielder taped a brief appearance on "The Young and the Restless," one of his favorite shows.

The episode Devereaux appears in will air on Sept. 28.

Closing in on Banks

Going into last night, Cal Ripken needed five home runs to tie Ernie Banks (293) for most in a career by a shortstop. Of his 296 home runs, Ripken has hit 288 as a shortstop.

With four more home runs, Ripken will become the third Oriole to hit 300. Eddie Murray (333) and Boog Powell (303) are the others.

Rotation won't change

Oates decided not to tinker with the rotation for the Oakland series. Fernando Valenzuela will start in turn Friday night, followed by Jamie Moyer and Mussina.

"I'm not going to pitch Mussina and [Ben] McDonald on three days' rest," said Oates. He also said he hadn't considered substituting John O'Donoghue for Valenzuela, who is winless in his past seven starts.

"Not yet," Oates replied, when asked about O'Donoghue's chances of starting.

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