Mills needs examination on ailing right shoulder O's pitcher not expected to start season with team

March 17, 1996|By Buster Olney | Buster Olney,SUN STAFF

Orioles pitcher Alan Mills will fly back to Baltimore tomorrow to have his right shoulder examined by team doctor Michael Jacobs. Mills has been suffering from soreness in the back of the shoulder, and he could be injected with cortisone to reduce the ** inflammation.

Manager Davey Johnson acknowledged that this likely rules out any chance of Mills starting the year with the Orioles. He had surgery at the end of last summer for removal of two bone spurs on his shoulder, and he threw well early in camp.

However, Mills had a setback around March 5, and he began to feel pain in his shoulder and lose the pop on his fastball. He planned to throw off a mound tomorrow, but that workout has been scratched. Mills tried to play catch yesterday, and stopped after just a few throws, general manager Pat Gillick said.

Mills' condition may be the reason the Orioles are looking into the possibility of acquiring a right-handed reliever. Right-handers Oscar Munoz and Keith Shepherd are contending for the last available job in the bullpen, but both pitched poorly in Friday's loss to the Mets.

Johnson said he generally has felt comfortable with Munoz or Shepherd, but he added, "I feel a little less comfortable after last night. Both were a little shaky."

One possibility is the Florida Marlins' David Weathers, a durable and experienced right-hander who could be used in middle relief and as a spot starter.

Pub Date: 3/17/96

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