O's address painful reminders of '98 Anderson, five others face surgery decisions

Orioles Notebook

September 27, 1998|By Joe Strauss | Joe Strauss,SUN STAFF

BOSTON -- The Orioles have spent much of the last six months bemoaning a ruinous crush of injuries. Beginning tomorrow, they will begin deciding what to do about them.

Brady Anderson, Eric Davis, Willie Greene, Chris Hoiles, Arthur Rhodes and Lenny Webster will be evaluated within the next two weeks to determine if surgery is required to remedy problems that hindered each for most of the season. Potentially the most serious procedure awaits Anderson, who has been plagued by patella tendon problems the past two seasons.

Once believed a certain candidate for arthroscopic surgery, Anderson has since learned that his right knee would require open surgery followed by extensive rehabilitation. Anderson, who never has undergone any surgical procedure, remains cool to the idea.

Hoiles has questioned his ability to catch consistently beyond this season. However, he insists he won't seek surgery to address lower back pain that at times has caused him leg numbness and made it difficult to crouch. Instead, Hoiles says he will immerse himself in an aggressive conditioning program this winter to strengthen his lower back. Among the Orioles' off-season priorities is to obtain catching help that would likely mean moving Hoiles to first base or designated hitter.

"I've always done exercises but I'm going to put even more emphasis on it this time," Hoiles said. "But I'm not having surgery."

Webster has shown the wear of playing a career-high 108 games. Bothered by right shoulder stiffness for much of the second half, Webster injured his left shoulder on a headfirst slide Sept. 20 and has not played since.

Webster will be re-examined this week to determine whether he has torn surgical repairs made to the area last October when a screw was inserted to reattach the labrum to his rotator cuff.

Davis, one of eight pending free agents, continues to be bothered by bone chips in his right elbow. The condition has forced him to wear a compression sleeve over the area for most of this season.

Manager Ray Miller said yesterday that Greene will be re-examined this week to determine if surgery is necessary to address a pulled muscle in his lower abdomen. Greene has received only 39 at-bats since being acquired Aug. 10 from the Cincinnati Reds.

Rhodes has confronted knee, rib and elbow problems this season. A strained left elbow landed the left-handed reliever on the disabled list July 14, retroactive to July 5. However, his knee has given him the most problems. Rhodes has worked once since Sept. 19 and has a 7.04 ERA in his last five outings, covering 7 2/3 innings.

Bordick beaned

Shortstop Mike Bordick was beaned by Red Sox starter Bret Saberhagen in the second inning. Bordick, who employs an open stance, appeared to be frozen by a fastball that rode up and in, glancing off his helmet's logo. Bordick stayed down for several minutes before walking off the field. Bordick was initially examined by Red Sox team doctor Arthur Pappas before undergoing a CT scan at Children's Hospital. Test results showed no concussion and Bordick returned to the clubhouse before game's end. The beaning marked the 10th time Bordick has been hit this year, second most on the team to Anderson's 15.

Pickering injures ankle

Rookie first baseman Calvin Pickering left in the sixth inning after sustaining an ankle injury on an aborted slide. Pickering, who at times has weighed more than 300 pounds, was forced on Cal Ripken's grounder to third but appeared indecisive about sliding. "I changed my mind," he said, "but I'm going to be OK."

L Pickering has a Grade 1 sprain and won't be available today.

Around the horn

Scott Erickson broke the Orioles' record for most hits allowed in a season, a byproduct of both his durability and a rough April. The Orioles' No. 2 starter entered the game one hit shy of Dennis Martinez's record of 279 set in 1979 and suffered the record-breaker on Mike Stanley's single to center leading off the fifth inning. Erickson finished with 284 hits allowed. Erickson also became the first Oriole to lead the American League in innings pitched since Jim Palmer in 1978. Erickson's 251 1/3 total innings is the most by an Orioles pitcher since Mike Boddicker threw 261 1/3 innings in 1984. The Orioles played error-free defense yesterday after Friday night's defensive debacle. If they commit fewer than four errors today, they will beat the 1988 Minnesota Twins' major-league standard of 84. The Orioles' club record is 87, set in 1989. Boston reliever Dennis Eckersley, a rookie starter with Cleveland in 1975, set a major-league record with his 1,071st appearance. Eckersley, who will turn 44 on Saturday, broke the record he shared with Hoyt Wilhelm. "It's even more special the way he did it," said Orioles reliever Jesse Orosco, third in appearances with 1,025. "For him to start about a third of his career and then go into the bullpen, it's amazing."

Pub Date: 9/27/98

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