Orioles right-hander Scott Erickson threw off a mound yesterday for the first time since injuring his left ankle.
Pitching coach Pat Dobson said Erickson was throwing well. He is expected to start next Tuesday in Seattle.
"He looked fine after the first 10 pitches," Dobson said. "He doesn't feel any pain coming down off the mound."
Erickson said he's progressing steadily with the injury, which he sustained while playing pepper before a game May 13. It does not hamper his mechanics or delivery, but his mobility is limited and the Orioles are worried about his ability to field his position.
"I know he wants the ball," manager Davey Johnson said. "But I'm not going to put him out there if we think he'll re-injure himself going to first base. Unfortunately, he's a ground ball jTC pitcher and there's always a chance he will have to run to cover first base."
Erickson has not started since May 12.
Benitez on 60-day DL
Armando Benitez, the Orioles ailing right-handed reliever who experienced more pain in his right elbow during a rehabilitative outing Saturday night at Double-A Bowie, has been moved from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list.
Benitez was examined by specialist Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., yesterday, and was diagnosed as having a strained ulnar collateral ligament.
Benitez, who returned home to the Dominican Republic after the examination, last pitched for the Orioles on April 19. He is expected not to throw for the next six weeks.
Johnson said he hopes the injury isn't season-ending. "If he's all right, they won't have to do anything [as far as surgery]," Johnson said.
Yan sent back down
The Orioles sent right-handed reliever Esteban Yan to the Rochester Red Wings after last night's game, and likely will call up a reliever from Triple-A today to fill his spot on the roster.
Yan, who made his major-league debut last night in a 1-2-3 ninth inning that included a strikeout, was recalled from Double-A Bowie on Saturday as a stopgap measure because of Benitez's absence and the workload it has brought on right-handed
reliever Roger McDowell.
The Red Wings were in Toledo last weekend and it was easier for Yan to travel to Baltimore from Bowie on an emergency basis.
Red Wings pitchers Tom Edens, Oscar Munoz, Jim Dedrick, Garrett Stephenson and perhaps even super prospect Rocky Coppinger are candidates for promotion.
O's ask about Lopez
Rochester isn't the only place where the Orioles are looking for relief help.
According to a source in the Cleveland organization, the Orioles called to ask about the availability of right-hander Albie Lopez, a hard thrower recently demoted to Triple-A. However, the source indicated the Indians don't see a potential trade match with the Orioles.
"They have nothing to offer," said the source. "There are almost ++ no prospects in their system. It's almost scary."
Pressed further, the official said the Orioles have seven or eight solid prospects in whom the Indians would have interest, including outfielder Eugene Kingsale. But the Orioles have indicated they are not available in trades, the official said.
Huson surgery delayed
Jeff Huson's arthroscopic knee surgery has been rescheduled for today as the Orioles utility man spent yesterday traveling to his home in Texas, where he will undergo the procedure.
Huson was put on the 15-day disabled list Saturday after injuring the knee on Friday and was originally going to have the operation yesterday. He's expected to miss three to six weeks.
Around the horn
Roberto Alomar's .384 batting average was the highest ever by an Oriole after the first 41 games of a season. Ken Singleton's .365 in 1981 was the previous best. . . . Brady Anderson returned to the leadoff spot after sitting out Sunday's game with a strained quadriceps muscle and hit his first homer since May 4. . . . Rafael Palmeiro singled in the first inning, his 1,500th career hit. . . . Catcher Gregg Zaun spent yesterday morning at two York, Pa., elementary schools promoting a literacy campaign.
Pub Date: 5/21/96