Davis 'probably' will be activated tomorrow Cap to cancer comeback likely in day/night pair

Orioles Notebook

September 14, 1997|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Orioles outfielder Eric Davis spoke with general manager Pat Gillick and manager Davey Johnson after yesterday's game and said he "probably" will be activated tomorrow.

Davis, who recently had a bout with the stomach flu, still won't say when he's going to play during this homestand. He would have two chances tomorrow with the day-night doubleheader against Cleveland.

"You never know. Time will tell," he said, smiling.

When reminded there will be a lot of baseball played in a short span, including another day-night doubleheader on Tuesday, Davis said, "I might be able to squeeze a few innings in there."

Johnson had said before the game that he still was waiting to hear when Davis wanted to return, whether by starting in right field or as a pinch-runner or defensive replacement.

"I told him I need to know 24 hours ahead. It'll be up to him," Johnson said.

"I'd much rather be able to play him [in the field]. He's a complete player. I'd like to see him in right field, even if it's for an inning. See how far he can go."

It was three months ago yesterday that Davis had surgery to remove a cancerous mass from his colon. He hasn't played since May 25 in Cleveland, when he went 0-for-5 to lower his average to .302.

Johnson is waiting to determine if Davis can contribute enough to be included on the postseason roster. "I would like to have his presence available," he said.

Hurting Alomar presses on

Roberto Alomar had some stiffness in his tender right groin muscle from playing seven innings Friday night, but he wanted to be in the lineup yesterday.

Making his fourth start in five games, Alomar doubled off the base of the fence in right-center field in the first inning, scoring Jeffrey Hammonds for a 1-0 lead. He still isn't running close to full speed, though, and hasn't made some difficult plays that used to appear almost routine.

"He wants to play. He needs to play," Johnson said of Alomar, who got up limping after misplaying a ground ball in the ninth.

Brady Anderson still is bothered by a strained right knee and soreness in his left calf, so Johnson sat him down for the fourth time in 11 games, starting Jeffrey Hammonds in center field against New York left-hander Kenny Rogers.

"He could play if he had to go," Johnson said of Anderson. "I don't want to beat him down for a time I need him to be up. I think he could probably use about three days off.

"Brady knows his body better than anybody. He can probably will his body to heal. I'm not really concerned about it."

With the last three outcomes before yesterday being decided early, Johnson has been able to go to his bench freely, providing what he considers the most beneficial rest -- psychological.

"Physically, it doesn't make a difference," he said. "The psychological rest is more important. Your mind doesn't need to compete."

Key encouraged

Saying he doesn't believe the workload is having an adverse effect, Johnson isn't considering bumping Jimmy Key from a start before the playoffs.

Key has struggled with his command but was encouraged by Thursday's outing, even though he allowed six earned runs (eight total) and threw 95 pitches in 5 1/3 innings.

"I think we've been pretty good this year at protecting our arms," Johnson said. "I don't know of anybody in the rotation who feels missing a start would be productive."

Key, looking for his first win at Camden Yards since May 7, has a sore left hamstring that bothers him when he runs. He said it doesn't affect his pitching.

"If the leg posed a problem, if I felt it would get worse, that would cause him to miss a start," Johnson said.

No 'shutdown' for Boskie

For now, the Orioles don't have any plans of shutting down reliever Shawn Boskie for the rest of the season, though the condition of his right elbow and his ineffectiveness since coming off the disabled list remain a concern.

Boskie has allowed 12 earned runs in four outings since being activated on Sept. 1. He had been sidelined with tendinitis, and still has some swelling in the elbow.

"It's been a difficult time for him, but I don't think it's shutdown time yet," Johnson said. "I need everybody I've got, at least until Wednesday."

Said Boskie: "It doesn't seem like the arm's a factor. I wish I could say it was. When I go out there and just can't throw, then I'll stop. It feels pretty good today.

"The symptoms I've had all along are hard to pin down. It hasn't necessarily felt like tendinitis. It felt pretty good in New York and I thought I was over the hump, then it swelled up. It's confusing to me. As far as why I'm not throwing effectively, I don't know."

Johnson said Friday that he thought Boskie would need to have the elbow checked after the season. Arthroscopic surgery is a possibility.

Rhodes gives boss a scare

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