Soreness in elbow adds MRI to Bale's pitching repertoire


Lefty reliever hopes it's surgical scar tissue

Singleton is hobbling


March 20, 2002|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Orioles reliever John Bale, trying to make the 25-man roster as a third left-hander in the bullpen, will have a magnetic resonance imaging test today to determine the cause of elbow soreness that has kept him from pitching the past four days.

Bale was examined yesterday at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, where doctors performed an arthrogram. Dye was injected into the elbow to detect a possible fracture or bone fragments.

"Everything was normal. I think it's just some inflammation," said Bale, 27, who had surgery after the 2001 season to remove a band of tissue in the elbow that was causing discomfort and limiting his appearances with the Orioles.

"This could be some soreness from the surgery. Maybe there's some scar tissue. I'm just trying to get the inflammation out and start pitching again."

Bale noticed some tightness after Friday night's appearance against the New York Mets. "That's what makes me think it's nothing really serious because I was able to throw pretty well," he said.

If the Orioles decide to keep three left-handed relievers, Bale will have to beat out Sean Runyan, who threw a perfect inning yesterday against Minnesota. Bale has allowed three runs in five innings this spring, while Runyan hasn't been scored upon in four innings.

O's short by 2 feet

A strained Achilles' tendon has removed another player from the Orioles' lineup, this time attacking their outfield with only 12 days left before Opening Day.

Center fielder Chris Singleton, acquired in January from the Chicago White Sox to shore up the club's defense up the middle, didn't make Monday's trip to Fort Myers. He remained unavailable yesterday while receiving ultrasound and electrical stimulation treatments for pain that runs from his left heel to his calf.

Meanwhile, first baseman David Segui hasn't played since Friday because of the same injury. Manager Mike Hargrove indicated yesterday that both players could be kept out of the remaining exhibition games as a precaution.

"I'm prepared to hold off until Opening Day if we have to," he said. "We want to make sure he and Singleton are both ready to go. They both have 30-35 at-bats so I don't necessarily want to rush them back to get more at-bats and end up losing them two weeks into the season."

Melvin Mora received his first start in center field yesterday, but Singleton said he hoped to be ready by Saturday. Told about the possibility of not getting on the field before April 1, Segui said, "No, I'll be playing before then. I'd like to have two or three more games."

Singleton has been experiencing soreness in his lower leg for about a week, but he took a turn for the worse after Friday's game against the Mets. He played again on Sunday, lasting six innings in the Orioles' 8-1 victory over Texas, and was scratched from the next day's game vs. Boston.

"It's gone from being mild soreness like anything else to painful. It's my Achilles' and my calf. I think it all works together," he said.

"This is really weird. You get used to having different things that maybe are a little sore and it's no big deal. It usually just goes away. But for whatever reason ... I don't know anything specific that I did that caused it to go from just being sore to actually hurting."

Singleton has traced the injury's origin to his shoes, where new inserts that were supposed to provide support might have caused the problem. He's ordered another pair. "It's not something chronic that I've had in the past," he said. "It's just something weird out of the blue."

Around the horn

Pitcher Chris Brock, a bullpen candidate after surviving yesterday's cuts, has been bothered for the past week by a sore right shoulder. He threw an inning in Monday's minor-league game in Sarasota, Fla., but if his status was more certain, the Orioles probably would have optioned left-hander Erik Bedard yesterday. ... The Orioles enjoy their only day off today.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.