Wells may not be ready to pitch for a few days Team doctor says caffeine could have sped up heart

Orioles notebook

March 14, 1996|By Jason LaCanfora and Buster Olney

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Pitcher David Wells appeared briefly in the Orioles' clubhouse yesterday morning for the first time since he was hospitalized for a rapid heart rate. However, he may not be ready to pitch for another day or two, as he undergoes more stress tests to confirm the initial findings.

Dr. William Goldiner, the Orioles' team doctor, has been consulting with the treating physician in Fort Lauderdale, and he believes caffeine, from coffee or soda, may have been the cause of Wells' accelerated heart rate.

"I think that caffeine probably is the big [reason]," Goldiner said. "That probably put him into it."

The results of Wells' heart tests "appear to be normal," the doctor said. One in particular, Goldiner indicated, "rules out any intrinsicheart disease."

Goldiner said there are no similarities between Wells' trouble and those of Hank Gathers, the Loyola Marymount basketball player who collapsed during a 1990 game and died. "This is not life-threatening," Goldiner said. "Those people [like Gathers] have other signs [of heart trouble]."

Wells has declined to comment, and according to a club spokesman, the left-hander's intention is to refrain from talking ever about his problems, which began Sunday night. Wells' heart rate was restored to normal with medication Monday.

Orioles manager Davey Johnson thinks Wells could start this weekend, although he sounded much less confident of that happening than he did Tuesday.

Stalker is sentenced

Trish Miller, the woman who stalked Orioles second baseman Roberto Alomar when he played for the Toronto Blue Jays last summer, was sentenced yesterday.

Miller was apprehended in the SkyDome Hotel in July with a gun and baseball cards of Alomar and other Blue Jays players.

Miller received a nine-month jail sentence and three years probation. She is barred from SkyDome during the probation and RTC she cannot get a gun license in Canada for 10 years.

"I'm sad that she has to go to jail," Alomar said, "but it's supposed to be a learning process. I think the judge made the right decision. I just can't believe people would want to do damage to a person who is not hurting anybody."

No-hitter for six

The Orioles had a no-hitter through six innings in the nightcap of the doubleheader.

Starter Jimmy Haynes and reliever Rocky Coppinger combined for six shutout, no-hit innings and just three walks. Randy Myers gave up a double to Henry Rodriguez to start the seventh. Rodriguez later scored on a sacrifice fly for Montreal's first run.

Tigers claim Bartee

The Detroit Tigers claimed Oriole outfield prospect Kimera Bartee off waivers yesterday. Baltimore gets $25,000 in return for the 23-year-old. Johnson said Bartee did not fit into the Orioles' immediate plans. The O's selected Bartee from Minnesota in the December Rule V draft, and if they intended to keep him, they would have had to carry him on their Major League roster all year.

Once the Orioles determined in a staff meeting Sunday that Bartee wouldn't stick, they placed him on waivers. Detroit now has the same obligation: Keep Bartee in the big leagues all year, place him on waivers or offer him to the Twins for $25,000.

"I'm happy with it," Bartee said. "I understand where [Baltimore] is coming from. I respect what they did for me. They've got a good outfield. But Detroit is starting to rebuild, and I'm going to take full advantage of it. The future for Detroit is in two or three years, and I want to be a part of that."

Ups and downs

Highlights and lowlights from the Orioles' 2-2 tie with and 10-1 win over Montreal in split-squad games yesterday: Ups Jimmy Haynes pitched four shutout, no-hit innings in the second game. Haynes was followed by Rocky Coppinger, who pitched two innings of no-hit relief, striking out two and walking one. Haynes struck out one batter and walked two. Haynes gave up three runs in four prior innings this spring.

Catcher Gregg Zaun threw out Rondell White trying to steal second base in the first game of the doubleheader. Zaun has nailed four of five would-be base stealers this spring.

Manny Alexander dropped his American League-leading batting average to .565. Alexander went 2-for-4 over the two games with an RBI and a run scored. In the first game, he made two terrific plays at shortstop as well, showing great range and a rifle arm.

The Orioles milked four walks and Mark Smith was hit by a pitch from Expos starter Tavo Alvarez in the three-run first inning of the second game.

Downs Alan Mills continued to struggle, giving up three hits, two walks and one run in two innings of relief. Mills also hit a batter in his first outing in an A game this year.

Chris Hoiles went 0-for-2 in the first game, and is 1-for-20 this spring (.050).

Pub Date: 3/14/96

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