Olson reports no progress in latest bullpen workout Closer's status remains uncertain

Orioles notebook

September 19, 1993|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

MILWAUKEE -- The on-again, off-again comeback of Orioles closer Gregg Olson lost some momentum when his latest bullpen workout did not go as well as he had hoped.

Olson isn't characterizing it as a setback, but he said his workout Friday did not go as well as he expected. How that affects his prospects for returning for the final homestand remains uncertain, but he continues to work toward that goal.

"It wasn't a setback but it was not of the order of the way things have been going," he said. "Everything had been really upbeat. There had been a lot of progress. Yesterday wasn't really a step back, but it wasn't a step forward, either."

The right-hander is trying to come back from a slightly torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He has been sidelined for nearly six weeks, but the club is hoping he will be available for possibly crucial series against the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays at Camden Yards next week.

Manager Johnny Oates wasn't ready to draw any negative conclusions from Olson's workout.

"He threw a lot of pitches in his workout Tuesday," Oates said"so it's not surprising that he didn't have that much. He'll throw again tomorrow and we'll see how it goes."

Stiff upper lip

Milwaukee Brewers manager Phil Garner made good on his bet with a local Orioles fan and shaved off his mustache yesterday.

Garner had promised that the Brewers would get at least five hits off Orioles starter Ben McDonald on Friday night, and put his mustache where his mouth was.

Garner has worn a mustache throughout his baseball career, though he did shave it off temporarily in 1987.

Mussina works out

Right-hander Mike Mussina worked out in the bullpen before last night's game and may decide today whether he will be able to start Tuesday night's game against the Cleveland Indians.

Mussina was hampered by shoulder soreness for the second start in a row Wednesday night, but he hopes to make three more regular-season starts. If he feels all right today, he'll remain in the rotation, but that would be subject to change up until

game time Tuesday.

TH "He threw for some time," Oates said. "I would think that is pretty

encouraging."

Perhaps it was, but Oates wants to be certain Mussina is healthy enough to pitch before he sends him to the mound in a game again.

Sutcliffe throws

Veteran right-hander Rick Sutcliffe threw on the side last night, leaving room to speculate that he is shadowing Mussina for a possible spot start Tuesday.

Sutcliffe has been assigned to the bullpen temporarily, but it seems unlikely he will pitch in relief unless there is an opportunity to get him some work in a non-critical situation.

He is waiting for an opportunity to make another start, but probably won't do so unless there is an opening in the rotation or the season reaches the stage where the Orioles can afford to experiment.

Rhodes on the road

Left-hander Arthur Rhodes, who will start the final game of the series against the Brewers today, has not lost a game on the road since he was beaten by the Minnesota Twins on May 4 at the Metrodome.

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