Decision on Olson due early next weekANAHEIM, Calif...

Orioles notebook

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

ANAHEIM, CALIF — Decision on Olson due early next week

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Johnny Oates said yesterday that a decision on whether Gregg Olson should return this season could come within the next week. The manager indicated that club officials will discuss the matter Monday, when the Orioles return from this road trip.

Oates did not give an indication as to his feelings, but he did not sound optimistic after watching Olson throw yesterday. "I don't know how he felt, but what I saw was the same [as two days earlier]," he said.

"We're at the point where we're going to sit down and talk when we get home. I think a decision will be made, one way or another."

If Olson has any say in the matter, and he almost certainly will, calling it quits for the season is out of the question. "I hadn't even thought about it," he said.

"That should be the last consideration," said Olson, who has 29 saves, but hasn't pitched in a game since Aug. 8. "It felt a little better today. There was a little improvement."

However, Olson has not thrown at more than 75 percent since being sidelined with what has been described as a slight tear in the ligament of his right elbow. His improvement has been only minimal, and he obviously still is feeling his way.

Oates would not say what he thought the decision on Olson would be. "I have an opinion," he said, "but my mind is not made up."

But he did say he felt an alteration to Olson's work schedule could be necessary in the future. "There's been a continuing pattern there of his going through a period in July or August of having either a tired arm or an injury," said Oates. "It's something Boz [pitching coach Dick Bosman] and I have talked about."

It appears that Fernando Valenzuela will get no more than four more starts the rest of the season. Oates revealed a plan yesterday that will give six more starts to Mike Mussina, Ben McDonald, Arthur Rhodes and Jamie Moyer.

"Mussina, McDonald and Rhodes will pitch every fifth day unless their turn falls on an off-day," said Oates. "We'll need a fifth starter only four more times."

The only kink in the plan is Moyer would have to pitch once on three days' rest to get six more starts.

"I talked to Jamie and he's not crazy about the idea because he's never pitched on three days' rest before," said Oates. "We'll wait and see what happens -- maybe we'll have a sixth starter in there for one game."

Oates: Smith no big loss

Oates said that the Orioles' scouting report on Lee Smith wasn't enough to attract any interest.

"It said his best fastball was 85 mph," Oates said of the all-time saves leader who went from the St. Louis Cardinals to the New York Yankees three days ago.

Asked if the Orioles did not consider Smith as at least a temporary replacement for Olson because there was nothing exciting in the scouting reports, Oates said: "Exactly."

Tough break


McDonald hit Angels shortstop Gary DiSarcina with a very expensive fastball last week in Baltimore. The pitch broke DiSarcina's right thumb, finishing him for the year.

The injury figures to cost DiSarcina at least $30,000. He had a clause in his contract calling for $10,000 bonuses for 130, 140 and 150 games played. He had played in all of the Angels' 126 games at the time he was hit.

Had he reached levels for all three bonuses, which appeared a certainty, DiSarcina would've started negotiations for next year from a base of $295,000. Instead, the starting point will be this year's base of $265,000.

"I play 211 games in a row and I miss my [first] incentive by four games," said DiSarcina. "That's a little ironic. I guess it wasn't meant to be."

Hammonds back in lineup

Jeffrey Hammonds was in the lineup as the Orioles' designated hitter against left-hander Chuck Finley last night. Oates indicated he wouldn't be afraid to use the talented rookie in the outfield.

"I want to see him tonight and see what happens in the next couple of days," Oates said last night. "I shouldn't have to worry about using him, he played the outfield in the minor leagues."

Hammonds was on the disabled list from Aug. 8 to Sept. 1 with a slightly herniated disk in the area of his neck. Last night's game was his first appearance since he was used as a pinch-runner against the Cleveland Indians Aug. 7.

Little League champs honored

The two-time Little League world championship team from Long Beach, Calif., was honored by the Angels in pre-game ceremonies.

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