Cordova's bat hot despite foot injury

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

He returns to left field

six-game hitting streak ends with 0-for-4 night

July 14, 2002|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

The Orioles' lineup last night included Marty Cordova as the left fielder, breaking a streak of 13 consecutive starts as the designated hitter because of a foot injury that restricted his role on the club.

It doesn't appear to be hurting his bat.

Cordova extended his hitting streak to six games on Friday with a single in the second inning off Oakland's Tim Hudson. He went 10-for-24 during that stretch and was batting .290 (29-for-100) in his past 28 games.

Last night, however, the streak ended as Cordova was 0-for-4.

He continues to play with a tendon injury on the bottom of his right foot, also known as plantar fascitis. A similar condition put him on the disabled list for six weeks of the 1997 season.

Cordova hadn't started in left field since June 25 against the New York Yankees, when he went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. He switched to designated hitter the next night and struck out three times.

"I think [the foot] is as good as it's going to be," said manager Mike Hargrove. "On the injury report, it hasn't been a major concern here lately, so hopefully it's getting better."

Meanwhile, Jay Gibbons returned to the bench last night against Oakland left-hander Barry Zito after missing Thursday's game with recurring pain in his right wrist. Hargrove removed him during the eighth inning of Friday's 1-0 loss.

"The pain in his wrist has moved from where it had been," Hargrove said.

Conine's absence

The Orioles are now 11-12 since Jeff Conine went on the disabled list.

How would the 2001 team have responded to his absence, when he was named Most Valuable Oriole?

"We might have had to move to Ontario or somewhere. It would not have been a pretty thing," Hargrove said.

Conine hasn't played since straining his right hamstring on June 14. He batted .319 with six homers and 17 RBIs in his last 19 games.

"You can't replace consistency," Hargrove said. "You're taking one of our main RBI guys out of the lineup. It affects not only your run production that night, that week, that month, the whole year, it also affects the other hitters. It makes them more vulnerable to being pitched around. It has a ripple effect."

Segui update

David Segui took ground balls during batting practice again yesterday while continuing his recovery from left wrist surgery. It has been eight weeks since he went on the disabled list, and he remains out indefinitely after attempts to swing a bat were unsuccessful.

"He looks good," Hargrove said. "He wasn't favoring his wrist, but he's still a ways off."

Swinging the bat remains the only baseball-related activity that Segui can't perform. He began a rehabilitation program a few days ago after an extended period of rest, and still experiences pain from the scar tissue.

"If they tell me I can play tomorrow, I'll play tomorrow," he said. "It feels good but not good enough to swing a bat. I tried it and it didn't work. That'll be the only indicator for me."

Richard pays a visit

Outfielder Chris Richard stopped by Camden Yards yesterday while awaiting the results of a magnetic resonance imaging test taken last week to determine the source of pain in his surgically repaired left shoulder.

Richard, who declined to speak with reporters, was shut down only three games into his rehab assignment. Team physician Dr. Charles Silberstein examined him in Baltimore and the information was sent to Dr. Lewis Yocum, who performed the November surgery in Los Angeles.

The Orioles expect to be given the MRI results tomorrow.

Around the horn

Bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks left the club on Friday to attend the wedding of his oldest son, Ryan, in New York. He's expected to return today. ... Rodrigo Lopez has been moved up a day and will start today in place of Sidney Ponson, who has been pushed back until tomorrow to give the blister on his pitching hand more time to heal.

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