Fernandez delayed by biceps tendinitis

March 06, 1994|By Peter Schmuck and Jim Henneman | Peter Schmuck and Jim Henneman,Sun Staff Writers

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Left-hander Sid Fernandez's first spring training outing has been moved back because of what Orioles officials called a slight case of biceps tendinitis.

Fernandez probably would have been the starting pitcher Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays, but manager Johnny Oates has scheduled him for Thursday's game against the New York Yankees in Fort Lauderdale.

In Fernandez's place, right-handed reliever Alan Mills will take his second turn in the starting rotation Tuesday.

Though any injury to one of the Orioles' free-agent acquisitions figures to cause concern, the club says it is just playing it safe with one of its top three starting pitchers.

"We're not concerned at all," said trainer Jamie Reed. "It's something he has had the last three years with the Mets. We're zTC just trying to knock it out."

Fernandez agreed. His playing time has been limited by a couple significant injuries over the past few years, but he has never been prone to arm problems. Last year, he missed much of the season with a knee injury and was out three months in 1991 with a broken wrist.

"This is just the same old stuff I had with the Mets," Fernandez said. "It always goes away. I'm not really missing anything. I pitched two innings in the intrasquad game. I just want to take care of it because I don't want to delay it."

He knows that Orioles fans are eager to see him on the mound, which is why he is eager to get past this as soon as possible.

"I just did this because I don't want to make them wait," he said. "It ain't that bad."

Voigt bruised

Utility man Jack Voigt was hit on the left forearm with a pitch from St. Louis Cardinals rookie Frank Cimorelli in the eighth inning of yesterday's game. Voigt apparently suffered only a bruise, but experienced unusual swelling in the area and may be unavailable for today's game. No X-rays were taken.

"We'll just see how it is tomorrow," he said.

Devereaux takes day off

Mike Devereaux, who suffered two facial cuts when he ran into a fence in Dunedin on Friday, was withheld from the lineup yesterday.

"He wanted to play, but I said no," Oates said. "He said he was OK, but he hadn't even put a helmet on yet.

"I told Mike to stay back [at the club's training complex], take batting practice, and if he felt all right, maybe he'd play [today]."

Devereaux was cut between the chin and lower lip and also on his forehead while trying to catch a foul ball hit by Paul Molitor in the first inning of the Orioles' 6-5 loss to Toronto in the exhibition opener.

Tribute to Sutcliffe

Brady Anderson did not wear his regular No. 9 yesterday. He wore No. 40 in honor of Rick Sutcliffe, who wore the number with the Orioles for the past two years.

Anderson said he will wear 40 again today, when Sutcliffe is scheduled to pitch against his former teammates. The veteran right-hander signed a minor-league contract with the Cardinals and is in camp as a nonroster invitee. He is expected to win a spot in the Cardinals' rotation.

Armed, dangerous

Rookie outfielder Alex Ochoa put his heralded arm on display, but without the desired results. He had a chance to throw a runner out at third during the Cardinals' nine-run seventh inning, but the ball handcuffed third baseman Terry Jorgensen and skipped to the fence behind the base.

Though Ochoa's throw bounced twice in the infield, it came to Jorgensen with more force than any batted ball that went through the infield.

"He's got to elevate it a little bit," said Oates.

Pitching plans

Left-handers Jamie Moyer and Brian DuBois and right-handers Kevin McGehee and Mark Williamson are scheduled to pitch today's rematch against the Cardinals.

After Sutcliffe, the Cardinals will use two left-handers, Allen Watson and Rob Murphy.

Ben McDonald will start for the Orioles on Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Fundamentally sound

The heavy emphasis on fundamentals this spring already is paying off for the Orioles.

The team faced a National League club for the first time this spring, and pitchers Mike Mussina and Arthur Rhodes each laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt.

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