Simulated game next for Drabek Pain-free, pitcher unsure what lies ahead with O's

Orioles Notebook

August 19, 1998|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Having made it through two throwing sessions without recurring pain in his left hamstring, Doug Drabek is expected to pitch a simulated game in the bullpen tomorrow. From there, the Orioles' right-hander could go on a rehabilitation assignment before being activated from the disabled list.

Drabek has been on the DL since Aug. 1 with a strained hamstring. He threw without pain for about 10 minutes in Cleveland on Friday afternoon, and again for about 17 minutes before Monday's game against Minnesota. Yesterday, he said there was no discomfort in the leg other than what he expected after being inactive for so long.

"I can tell I did a lot of work," he said. "I threw for 17 minutes and did a lot of leg work and stuff. But as far as hurting or anything like that, no."

Drabek said he still hasn't been told anything about the club's plans for him beyond tomorrow's session. "After that, I have no idea. "I don't know exactly what they want to do," he said.

Manager Ray Miller said another possibility tomorrow is having Drabek throw some batting practice, though the simulated game is more likely. Whether the veteran goes on a rehab assignment, and how he'll be used beyond that, depends partly on the availability of starter Scott Kamieniecki and converted reliever Jimmy Key. Kamieniecki has stayed in the rotation despite some pain in his upper back, and Key is pitching with pain in his left shoulder.

"It depends on how Kammy holds up and how Jimmy holds up," Miller said.

Drabek is eager to return. He hasn't pitched since relieving Scott Erickson on July 31 in Kansas City and allowing four runs and seven hits in five innings, increasing his ERA to 7.07. It was his first bullpen appearance since 1989.

"You feel worthless just sitting around and not getting to do stuff," he said.

Hall of Fame Hoiles

Someday, Chris Hoiles will take his children by the hands and lead them through the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. And among the historic memorabilia will be one of his jerseys, which he donated to commemorate Friday's game in Cleveland, when he became only the ninth player to hit two grand slams.

"I guess that's where any player wants to be, in one form or another. It feels good," said Hoiles, who has 10 RBIs in his past four games, and five hits in his past 13 at-bats.

"That's probably going to be the most exciting part, being able to walk in there and show them dad's in there somehow, someway."

No other catcher had hit two grand slams in a game, making Hoiles the answer to a question that's certain to stump its share of trivia buffs.

"I can guarantee you my name won't come up," he said. "With all the great players, to be the first catcher to ever do it is pretty amazing to me. When you're talking about guys like [Carlton] Fisk and [Johnny] Bench, those types of hitters, it's hard to comprehend I'm the first catcher to do it."

Moral victory

Twins starter Brad Radke is 0-3 with an 8.00 ERA against the Orioles this season and winless in his last four starts.

But he came away from Camden Yards encouraged.

"That was probably one of the best starts I've had since the All-Star break," said Radke (10-11), who trailed only 2-1 until Eric Davis' three-run shot in the seventh. "It's coming around, piece by piece."

Around the horn

Cal Ripken went 2-for-4 to lift his average to .276. He has reached base either by hit, walk or hit-by-pitch in 42 straight games. Some of the Minnesota players had to return to their hotel rooms after Monday's game to finish taking a shower after the visitor's clubhouse ran out of cold water. One player could be seen carrying a bucket of ice into the shower to combat the scalding water. Miller said he hasn't spoken to Earl Weaver since the Hall of Fame manager suffered a mild heart attack Aug. 3. Bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks has stayed in contact with Weaver and provided Miller with updates. "I wouldn't want to talk to him if he hasn't had a cigarette in 10 days," Miller joked. "They've probably got him tied to a chair." The Twins' Todd Walker went 2-for-4 and was 15-for-40 (.375) against the Orioles this season Orioles reliever Arthur Rhodes will sign autographs at the Babe Ruth Museum today from noon to 1 p.m. Information: 410-727-1539. About 6,000 tickets remain for tomorrow's game against Tampa Bay. Only scattered singles are left for the three-game series against Cleveland.

Pub Date: 8/19/98

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