Mussina is encouraged by growing endurance


March 02, 1994|By Peter Schmuck and Jim Henneman | Peter Schmuck and Jim Henneman,Sun Staff Writers

SARASOTA, FLA — SARASOTA, Fla. -- Right-hander Mike Mussina expressed some doubts about his physical condition when he arrived at spring training nearly two weeks ago, but he was upbeat about the way he threw yesterday.

"I would still say that a game situation is the next step," Mussina said, "but I'm encouraged about my endurance. The first few workouts here, I would throw well for five to eight minutes and my endurance would drop off. Today, they told me to stop and I couldn't believe that I had thrown for 15 minutes."

That's good news for the Orioles, who are depending on Mussina to be their ace. If he's healthy, he'll likely be the Opening Day starter, though manager Johnny Oates has made no announcement to that effect.

In the meantime, the club is trying to get him signed. Mussina is one of a handful of players who have not agreed to contracts for the 1994 season, but he does not seem concerned about that, either.

"I think that's going to be all right," he said. "I'm not worried about getting renewed."

The Orioles tendered him a contract worth $450,000, which represents his 1993 salary and his $25,000 All-Star bonus, but negotiations between club officials and agent Arn Tellum have been amicable. He could end up getting close to $700,000.

Flanagan returns

Former Orioles pitcher Mike Flanagan has agreed to come to the Orioles' minor-league camp for a week to serve as a special instructor. Flanagan, who is expected to do some TV work with Home Team Sports once the season begins, will work with the minor-league pitchers and be an adviser to the minor-league pitching coaches.

Powell stays behind

Top 1993 draft choice Jay Powell will not accompany the Orioles when they move their base of operations to St. Petersburg this weekend. He'll remain at Twin Lakes Park to prepare for the minor-league season.

Carey excused

First-base prospect Paul Carey was excused from yesterday's workout to undergo medical tests. The Orioles put every player through a physical examination early in spring training. Carey was sent for follow-up tests, but the club has not not released any further information.

Ochoa cranks it up

The major-league coaching staff has heard reports of the strong throwing arm of outfield prospect Alex Ochoa, but they got to see it in action yesterday. Ochoa can throw the ball from the warning track in center field to home plate, but he had a little trouble keeping it on target.

"It's obvious there is plenty of arm there," Oates said. "He showed me that he can throw the ball a long way. I talked to [Rochester manager] Bob Miscik and he told me that he is one of those guys who throws better in a game than in practice."

Poole bruised

Reliever Jim Poole had to put his left ankle on ice for a while yesterday after a sharp comebacker by David Segui found a spot that wasn't protected by the screen in front of the mound.

"Segui got his first trophy of 1994," Poole said.

It was just a bruise, however, and is not expected to limit his activities.

Jays' Guzman to start

Juan Guzman will be the starting pitcher when the defending champion Toronto Blue Jays open their exhibition season against the Orioles in Dunedin on Friday.

Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston tentatively has listed left-handers Greg Cadaret and Tony Castillo and right-hander Woody Williams to follow Guzman.

Right-handers Alan Mills, Todd Frohwirth and Mike Oquist and left-hander John O'Donoghue are scheduled to pitch for the Orioles.

Media relations

The Orioles public relations department has created a 30-minute videotape to help the club's younger players learn about dealing with the media. The film was shot by members of the video production staff and features interviews with members of the media as well as several veteran players.

Public relations director Rick Vaughn said yesterday that at least one other major-league club has requested a copy of the tape.

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