As expected, the Orioles placed Chris Hoiles on the 15-day disabled list yesterday with a slight tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Catcher Tim Laker was called up from Triple-A Rochester to take his place.
Laker found out Tuesday he would be coming to Baltimore. That meant being scratched from the Red Wings' lineup and watching the game with an uneasy feeling.
"I was sitting in the dugout hoping I wouldn't get hit in the head by a line drive," he said.
Laker, signed by the Orioles during spring training after being released by the Montreal Expos, came off the DL on Monday after straining his right hamstring. He said he's about 75 percent.
"We can't even call up a healthy guy," manager Davey Johnson said.
Hoiles brought his crutches to the ballpark yesterday but at times limped through the clubhouse without them. Doctors have told Hoiles he will be out a minimum of three weeks and could be lost for up to two months because of the demands placed on the knee when catching. He also was told that surgery wouldn't be needed.
"It's just real disappointing, having to sit here and watch them play and not be a part of it," said Hoiles, who added that he hoped to be able to DH after his 15 days are up.
Told of Hoiles' ambition to DH, Johnson said, "It depends on the leg. I need two catchers."
Hoiles will accompany the team on its six-game road trip to Toronto and Milwaukee to make it easier to receive his three daily treatments. He hasn't been told about rehabilitating the knee.
"The main thing is getting the swelling out, getting the pain out first," he said. "From my understanding, it's just how I feel, as far as what we can do. There's a lot of swelling in there, and there's definitely pain in there."
Hoiles was injured when Montreal's F. P. Santangelo crashed into him at home plate in the ninth inning of Monday night's 6-4 loss. The knee bothered him most when he woke up Tuesday.
"It feels a little bit better today, as far as walking on it," he said.
In 47 games with Rochester, Laker was batting .251 with eight homers and 26 RBIs. He spent parts of three seasons with the Expos and underwent tendon transplant surgery on his right elbow.
Webster hurting, too
Barring a trade, Hoiles' injury means regular playing time for Lenny Webster, a career backup who is fighting an injury, too. He has been bothered by a strained left Achilles' tendon, which normally would prevent him from starting the day after a night game.
"I've had good days and bad days with it," he said. "Today, surprisingly, I feel pretty good. It's not as sore as it's usually been, so I hope that's a positive sign that it's getting better.
"I'm going to continue the treatment that we're on and just do the best I can. The only thing that truly is going to heal this thing is rest, but I don't have time for that."
Reboulet is outfield fill-in
Johnson decided to keep Brady Anderson on the bench to rest a tender knee -- the center fielder said he only was taking a day off -- so Jeff Reboulet made his fifth career start in right, and the first with the Orioles, while Jeffrey Hammonds started in center.
"His knee's a little tender," Johnson said of Anderson. "We've got an off-day [today]. It's just an opportunity to give him a couple of days off."
Anderson smiled and feigned disgust when asked about sitting out. "What, am I supposed to start every inning of every game?"
Normally a middle infielder, Reboulet appeared in seven games in right field with Minnesota last year. He has spent most of his time at second base this season.
"You've just got to go out and do it, catch the ball if it's hit to you and throw it in if it's hit to you," he said. "It's not like I do a lot of work out there but I should be able to catch a fly ball."
Reboulet looked a bit awkward tracking the first fly ball hit his way, in the third inning, but he made the catch near the warning track. Later, he dived trying to catch Chris Widger's sixth-inning triple to right-center.
Advocates' 5K set for July 6
The Oriole Advocates will hold a 5K Bicentennial Home Run, Fun Run and Walk on July 6 at 8 a.m. The event will begin outside Oriole Park and end on the center-field warning track. All participants will receive a race shirt, with trophies for the top three finishers in each division of the 5K.
For an application, call Dave Cooley at 410-377-8882. Entry fee for the 5K Home Run is $13 before Sunday and $18 afterward. Entry fee for the Fun Run and Walk is $7. Proceeds go to the Oriole Advocates Charitable Foundation.
Around the horn
Arthur Rhodes was walking with a slight limp, the result of taking a line drive off the side of his left knee in the sixth inning of Tuesday's 5-4 win. Johnson said the reliever should be OK in a couple of days. Rhodes hasn't allowed a run in his past five appearances spanning 11 2/3 innings. Jesse Orosco didn't pitch after five straight appearances. The Orioles drew 142,798 for the series, the second-highest total for a three-game set at Camden Yards.
Since raising his average to .297 with a 3-for-5 performance vs. the Yankees on May 27, Orioles designated hitter Pete Incaviglia has slumped badly:
Date .. ..Opp. .. ..H .. ..AB .. ..Avg.
5/28 .. ..Det .. ...0 .. ...3.. .. .287
5/30 .. ..Cle. .. ..0 .. ...2.. .. .281
6/4 .. ...N.Y.-A ...0 .. ...3.. .. .273
6/6 .. ...Chi.-A ...0 .. ...2.. .. .267
6/7 .. ...Chi.-A ...0 .. ...3.. .. .260
6/10 .. ..Bos. .. ..1 .. ...4.. .. .259
6/10 .. ..Bos. .. ..0 .. ...3.. .. .252
6/11 .. ..Bos. .. ..0 .. ...3.. .. .246
6/15 .. ..Atl. .. ..0 .. ...1.. .. .243
6/16 .. ..Mon. .. ..0 .. ...1.. .. .241
6/18 .. ..Mon. .. ..1 .. ...4.. .. .242
Tot. .. .. .. .. ...2 .. ..29.. .. .069
Pub Date: 6/19/97