Anderson, Drabek on DL doorstep Determination expected today

Orioles Notebook

Palmeiro doesn't see stars

Carter honored

June 15, 1998|By Joe Strauss | Joe Strauss,SUN STAFF

TORONTO -- The Orioles may make a determination as soon as today about whether they need to put either center fielder Brady Anderson or starting pitcher Doug Drabek on the disabled list because of injuries suffered this weekend in Toronto.

Anderson strained the quadriceps muscle in his right leg retreating on Tony Fernandez's home run Friday. After doing little except receive treatment on Saturday, Anderson took batting practice before last night's game, swinging well but still walking stiff-legged. Manager Ray Miller hinted that the club would promote either Danny Clyburn or Ricky Otero from Triple-A Rochester if Anderson requires his second trip to the disabled list this year.

Clyburn, only recently recovered from a broken foot suffered March 4, would be the likely candidate given his presence on the 40-man roster.

Drabek remains a close call. He pitched only two innings after experiencing tightness in a muscle on the right side of his chest while warming before Saturday's loss.

"At least I don't have to use my left arm to pick my right arm up above my shoulder," said Drabek, employing gallows humor within a rotation already missing Scott Kamieniecki and Jimmy Key. The Opening Day rotation already has missed 15 turns while Pete Smith last night became the 11th Orioles pitcher to make a start.

Drabek plans to toss in the outfield this afternoon and then make a decision whether to attempt a side session tomorrow. If unable to do so, the club will consider replacing him in the rotation with Doug Johns or another of its sundry aged minor-leaguers. Miller did not discount the possibility of Drabek making Thursday's start absent a side session. However, that would risk a repeat of Saturday when Drabek hurt himself warming, then started with little velocity.

"I've done it before when I haven't thrown on the side," Drabek said. "But I would like to do it to see how I feel when I throw the ball and extend. I'll throw tomorrow and take it from there."

Terry Mathews is eligible to leave the disabled list on Wednesday. The Orioles could either put Drabek on the DL or option rookie Radhames Dykhoff to Rochester to make room for Mathews.

Punching Palmeiro's ticket

It's that time of year again. Three weeks before the All-Star Game and Rafael Palmeiro and his big numbers may again have to buy their way to the game.

Palmeiro ranked sixth among AL first basemen when the latest vote was released last week. At his position, he ranks second in RBIs to Cleveland's Jim Thome, tied for second with Thome in home runs behind Boston's Mo Vaughn and fourth in total bases behind Anaheim's Darin Erstad, Vaughn and Thome. Chicago first baseman Frank Thomas leads in balloting despite failing to rank among the top 10 in any significant offensive category.

"That stuff doesn't motivate me anymore," said Palmeiro, named to the 1988 and 1991 All-Star Games but never voted in. "At one time, it mattered a lot to me and I'd allow myself to be disappointed. But not now. If my numbers don't talk loud enough, there's nothing I can do about that. All I can do is go out and try to help this team win."

Palmeiro has 17 home runs, 53 RBIs and 145 total bases. Hitting .293, he is on pace for his first 40-homer season and about 120 RBIs, his annual goal.

"I've stopped figuring out what it takes. I know it's the most competitive position there is and there are other great players who should go. But I don't know. Maybe visibility has something to do with it."

'Legendary' Joe Carter

An appreciative SkyDome crowd and the Blue Jays last night reminded Joe Carter he will always be welcome in Toronto.

Before the game the club gave Carter a framed No. 29 jersey and a video tribute on the stadium matrix. Carter spent the seven most productive seasons of his career with the Blue Jays from 1991-97, winning two World Series and leading the club in RBIs each year.

Carter also caught the final out of the Jays' 1992 World Series win over the Atlanta Braves and homered off Philadelphia Phillies reliever Mitch Williams to end the 1993 Series.

The only missing element to the tribute was ex-Jays manager Cito Gaston, a close friend of the player introduced as the "legendary Joe Carter." It was Carter who wore Gaston's number against the Orioles last season the day the club fired him.

Around the horn

Palmeiro needs two RBIs to tie Lee May for 10th all-time on the Orioles RBI list at 487. Miller rested shortstop Mike Bordick. Bordick owns a .179 career average against Roger Clemens. Jeff Reboulet contributed his third RBI on a second-inning suicide squeeze. Clemens (7-6) was 11-2 last year after 14 starts. Nobody can say Orioles pitching isn't balanced. The rotation entered last night 24-26 with a 5.28 ERA. The bullpen entered 8-9 with a 5.27 ERA. The 11th annual Orioles Wives Food Drive to benefit the Maryland Food Bank takes place at Camden Yards Friday and Saturday. Orioles wives and significant others collected 6 1/2 tons of food during the two-day effort last year.

Pub Date: 6/15/98

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