Anderson Hits Wall, Reinjures Sore Rib

X-rays Are Negative

Outfielder Day-to-day

April 25, 1997|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Manager Davey Johnson knew it was going to happen sooner or later. Put Brady Anderson in the outfield, cracked rib and all, and wait for the inevitable run-in with the wall.

It came last night, in the fifth inning of Anderson's fourth start in center. He raced back on a fly ball from Boston rookie Nomar Garciaparra, leaped to make the catch and rammed his left shoulder into the padding.

Though he stayed in the game and batted twice more, Anderson was replaced by Jeffrey Hammonds in the ninth inning because he wasn't sure he'd be able to make a strong enough to challenge a possible go-ahead run. X-rays showed there were no fresh breaks, but Anderson said the pain was worse than when he first suffered the injury in spring training.

"It's a cement wall," he said. "It's got a little pad on it, but anytime there's a wall that doesn't give and you run full speed into it."

Johnson said that, at best, Anderson will be restricted to serving as designated hitter, his role for the first 14 games. Anderson, who is hitting .381, said he would wait until today to see how the rib feels before deciding if he needs to take time off.

"They think he just rebruised the area," Johnson said. "Hopefully, he'll go to sleep and wake up healed. I really wasn't surprised he stayed in. I figured he'd stay in if it was protruding from his body."

Without Anderson, the Orioles had no spare outfielders. B. J. Surhoff is out indefinitely with a strained left groin. Hammonds, Jerome Walton and Eric Davis have missed time with various injuries and are at less than 100 percent.

Walton took over in left field after Anderson departed and was running at less than full speed on an 11th-inning groundout. He's been bothered by a strained abdominal muscle during spring training and a sore hamstring.

Tony Tarasco was brought up from Triple-A Rochester on Wednesday as insurance in case Surhoff went on the disabled list. Johnson was going to let him go, but "I've got him on hold. I don't know how Brady's going to come in [today]. There are a lot of variables, a lot of `what ifs.' "

Anderson fell in a heap on the warning track after making the catch and hitting the wall -- hard enough that the players on the bench heard the impact. He flipped the ball toward right-fielder Eric Davis without looking and began rolling back and forth in pain. Johnson and trainer Richie Bancells rushed from the dugout.

Anderson rose to his feet after a couple minutes and drew a loud ovation. He flied out to deep center in the sixth, walked in the eighth and appeared to run without difficulty before exiting.

He first injured the rib in an exhibition game on March 23 while lunging back to first base on a pick-off throw. A bone scan revealed a crack in the fifth rib on his left side.

Ignoring Johnson's recommendation that he go on the disabled list, Anderson took batting practice during the workout before Opening Day and said he could play.

Pub Date: 4/25/97

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