Injured O's battery is just about recharged

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Myers, Timlin set to end DL stay

Reboulet happy

April 13, 2000|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Reserve catcher Greg Myers has made good progress in his recovery from a severe hamstring strain and could come off the 15-day disabled list when the Orioles open their second homestand of the season on Monday at Camden Yards.

Myers worked out with the training staff again yesterday and performed well enough for trainer Richie Bancells to project that he could be ready the first day he becomes eligible to leave the DL.

"He went through some functional testing today and did well," manager Mike Hargrove said. "Talking to Richie, he seemed to think if he keeps going the way he has been, he can come off Monday."

When Myers comes back, minor-league prospect Willie Morales will be optioned to the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings.

Closer Mike Timlin also appears to be close to returning from a torn abdominal muscle. He has not pitched competitively since the April 1 exhibition game against the Cincinnati Reds in Chattanooga, Tenn., but will not necessarily go out on a rehab assignment.

"We'll find out about Timlin in Minnesota," Hargrove said.

Hargrove also hopes to have starting pitcher Scott Erickson back soon, but the club still is about a week away from making a decision on when and where he will go on an injury rehabilitation assignment.

Erickson, who worked four simulated innings on Monday, will throw again tomorrow in Minnesota. He likely will work out one more time in Baltimore, then go to Frederick or Bowie for a minor-league start before rejoining the major-league rotation.

Familiar faces

Former Orioles utility man Jeff Reboulet appears to be enjoying his new address. He was traded to the Royals for minor-league first baseman Ray Brown during the off-season and has no regrets.

He hasn't played much so far -- he has two hits in four at-bats -- but couldn't see a place for himself on this year's Orioles team.

"The problem in Baltimore was that I was more or less insurance in case somebody got hurt," he said, "and then when some people went down we were going so bad that they wanted to look at young players. It is a great organization and I'm going to miss a lot of people, but it was time to go."

Reboulet may be playing a similar role with the Royals, but he sees himself differently on a developing team.

"I went from one of the oldest teams in baseball to one of the youngest," he said. "I haven't played much, but I feel better prepared to go in there. There's more of a chance for a role situation than in Baltimore."

Former Orioles catcher Gregg Zaun also is happy for the opportunity to compete for playing time in Kansas City. He has played sparingly since he was traded to the Royals by Detroit this spring, but he was in the starting lineup against his old mates last night, going 1-for-3 with a big leadoff walk in the Royals' three-run ninth.

Lost in the loss

Obscured by the discouraging extra-inning loss on Tuesday night was an outstanding clutch performance by young reliever B. J. Ryan, who worked out of jams in the ninth and 10th innings to keep the club alive.

He escaped a second-and-third, one-out situation in the ninth after issuing an intentional walk to load the bases, thanks in part to a great play by shortstop Mike Bordick and Charles Johnson to cut off a run at the plate.

"I put myself in a bad situation," Ryan said humbly. "I was lucky the guys made the plays when they needed to be made."

Tough situation or not, Ryan's manager and his teammates were impressed with his cool under fire.

"You just have to bear down," Ryan said. "You can't let the situation dictate what you do."

Weird play

Johnson had to regain his wits to make the catch and force at the plate in the ninth. He was momentarily stunned when hitter Jermaine Dye struck him in the helmet on his backswing. Johnson collected himself and made a lunging play to short-hop the off-balance throw by Bordick.

Deep thoughts

There have been several instances during the first two games at Kauffman Stadium when Orioles infielders have looked, well, out of sync. Cal Ripken and Bordick both were charged with throwing errors on Tuesday night on plays that looked uncharacteristically awkward.

First baseman Will Clark pointed out after the game that the problem was the deep grass on the infield, which slowed down the ball and caused some strange hops.

The Royals apparently manicure the field that way to take advantage of their good team speed. The Orioles could derive no similar offensive advantage Tuesday night because they didn't hit the ball on the ground. Of the 36 outs recorded against them in the 12-inning game, 21 were on fly balls and pop-ups.

Ripken-BayRunners deal

The IBL announced the completion of the deal reported last month making Ripken sole owner of the Baltimore BayRunners.

Ripken, who originally purchased 10 percent of the basketball club in October, bought the remaining 90 percent from the league, which had owned the team.

He'll continue to head the team's radio and television promotional campaign, the league said. Specifics of the agreement weren't disclosed.

The IBL is in the final month of its inaugural season, with the 13-40 BayRunners in last place in the four-team East Conference.

Around the horn

Kansas City's Jose Santiago (2-0) won for the second straight night, pitching two perfect innings. Orioles starter Pat Rapp was 12-13 in a career-high 32 starts for the Royals in 1998.

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