Sabo better after exercise, injection

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

May 14, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

MINNEAPOLIS -- Chris Sabo, eligible to come off the disabled list May 22, has taken up a new exercise known as a back extension, in an attempt to curb a bulging disk.

"You are always going this way," Sabo said, while bowing.

"The idea of this exercise is to keep going this way," he said while bending backward. "I'm trying to push the disk back that way. It makes sense when you think about it. It's worth a try."

Sabo said last night his back felt "a little better," two days after he received a cortisone injection.

Surprisingly, Sabo said he enjoys playing on artificial turf, the harder the better.

"It's bad for your body, but it's good fielding on it and good running on it," Sabo said. "The softer artificial turf is where you run into more trouble because you dig in more. On the harder surfaces, you slide, just like you do on regular grass."

Sabo, a .270 career hitter with Cincinnati, four times had more than 30 doubles in a season and eclipsed the 20 home run mark in three seasons.

He has not had a chance to show his National League form with the Orioles because of back troubles that started April 11 in Detroit.

"I may never get the chance to play that way if my back doesn't get better," Sabo said.

Sabo hit .221 with two home runs and nine RBI in 20 games before going on the disabled list. He said he expects to return as soon as he is eligible to come off the DL.

Sabo accompanied the team to Rochester and Minneapolis, but said he will not be able to participate in any baseball drills until Wednesday or Thursday.

Rhodes to face Durham Bulls

Left-hander Arthur Rhodes on the DL with tendinitis of the right knee, tentatively is scheduled to pitch for Frederick on Monday at Durham.

Rhodes went 1-4 with a 7.62 ERA before irritating the knee that was operated on last season. Orioles manager Johnny Oates has not guaranteed Rhodes will start May 21, the next game the Orioles need a fifth starter. Mike Oquist, who pitched five no-hit innings of relief for his first major-league victory Tuesday night against Toronto, remains a candidate for the start.

Voigt in right again

Jack Voigt made his seventh consecutive start in right field last night, while Mark Smith, recalled Wednesday from Triple-A Rochester, awaited his first major-league start.

Voigt threw out Devon White attempting to tag up from third on a fly

ball in Wednesday's game and made a leaping catch at the wall the same night. Two nights earlier, Voigt went from first to second on Brady Anderson's sacrifice fly to center.

"A lot of major leaguers wouldn't have gone to second on that play," Oates said. "He does a lot of the little things that don't get noticed."

Quietly effective at third

The nature of a third base coach's job is that you only hear his name mentioned when something goes wrong. Think about it, have you heard Jerry Narron's name come up much this season?

"Being a third base coach is a no-win job," Oates said. "He gets a lot of blame he shouldn't get. If you send the runner and he scores, well, he should have scored. If you send him and he's out, it's your fault. If you hold him, you were wrong. He could have scored. Jerry's done an outstanding job this year. He's done a good job communicating with the players. I'm very happy with the job he's done."

Narron is in his first season as third base coach after a year as the dugout coach. He replaced fired Mike Ferraro, whose name surfaced more often. Narron is perhaps the quietest man in an Orioles uniform.

"He's quiet, but when he says something it's important," Oates said. "He doesn't waste too much energy on talk."

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