Maduro placed back on DL

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Reactivated Tuesday, reliever suffers stiffness in elbow

Molina recalled

June 23, 2000|By Joe Strauss | Joe Strauss,SUN STAFF

SEATTLE - Three days after being activated, Orioles reliever Calvin Maduro will return to Baltimore today for a magnetic resonance imaging of his right elbow after being placed on the disabled list for a second time.

Maduro, who spent more than five weeks on the disabled list because of a sprained ulna collateral ligament, experienced stiffness behind his right elbow during Wednesday's appearance against the Oakland Athletics.

The Orioles replaced Maduro by recalling Gabe Molina from Triple-A Rochester. Molina was optioned to make room for Maduro on Tuesday and had yet to report to the Red Wings. This return trip marks Molina's fourth stay with the Orioles.

The Orioles were careful not to offer a prognosis until the results of today's examination are known, but the spacing of Maduro's problems suggest his season may be in jeopardy. The reoccurrence of pain and stiffness in the region also heightens concern. Maduro was unable to bend his right elbow yesterday.

"I came off for two days then I go back on," Maduro said. "It's very disappointing."

Manager Mike Hargrove would not speculate on the cause but indicated the source of Maduro's discomfort appears to be in the same area as before. The team's orthopedic doctor, Michael Jacobs, will conduct the examination to determine if more extensive damage exists around the elbow.

Maduro appeared Tuesday and Wednesday against the A's. In his first appearance, he surrendered a three-run homer to Ramon Hernandez, the first batter he faced since being activated. He walked a hitter then got the last out of the eighth inning.

On Wednesday, he allowed a run in the eighth inning of a 10-3 loss. Against the last hitter he faced, Miguel Tejada, Maduro said he felt renewed pain.

"The first game was good. I made too many pitches over the plate, but otherwise it felt fine," Maduro said. Of the second outing, he said, "My velocity was fine while I was out there, but when I sat down it really started hurting. It's not good."

Maduro convinced Orioles officials he was sound by striking out six in a two-inning rehab appearance June 17 with Single-A Frederick. After initially describing the condition as minor, Orioles officials allowed Maduro to make a deliberate return.

Since making the team as its No. 5 starter out of spring training, Maduro had made two starts before allowing runs in six of 13 relief appearances. The two outings in Oakland hiked his ERA to 9.64.

Molina, meanwhile, returns having made three appearances for the Orioles.

Ripken the DH

Cal Ripken served another tour as designated hitter last night while continuing to deal with residual pain in his lower back and left leg. Hargrove confirmed the condition is giving Ripken problems "but nothing more than he's been dealing with."

Hargrove pulled Ripken from the seventh inning of Wednesday's loss in Oakland after he had grounded out three times. Ripken appeared to be laboring while he ran.

Ripken entered last night battling a 1-for-14 skid but was hitting .289 with three home runs in his past 12 games. Last night's role marked the fourth time this season - and in his career - Ripken has worked as designated hitter. The most recent came June 14 in a home game against the Texas Rangers.

Jeff Conine made his eighth start of the season at third base.

Around the horn

Hargrove confirmed that no starting pitcher would be skipped after Monday's off day in Boston. Jason Johnson had been bumped twice in the past month because of a rainout and a scheduled off day. ... Reliever Mike Trombley remained inactive yesterday because of strep throat. Trombley has not appeared since June 17. Combined with Maduro's return to the disabled list, Hargrove was left with five relievers last night. The manager said for the first time that the club may consider placing Trombley on the disabled list. Trombley saw a doctor for a fourth consecutive day yesterday. ... Catcher Charles Johnson will appear on tomorrow's "This Week in Baseball." Johnson's segment details the art of catching. Mariners shortstop Alex Rodriguez and the Colorado Rockies' bullpen also will be featured.

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