Eager Bordick kept on hold for game, says he's set to go


Leon, L. Lopez on bubble as roster move expected

Ponson shows progress

August 17, 2002|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

The Orioles took the field for last night's game against the Detroit Tigers with Melvin Mora at shortstop and Mike Bordick on hold.

Bordick wasn't activated from the disabled list yesterday, which reversed his expectations as he left Minnesota on Thursday. He has missed 29 games since fracturing his right kneecap on July 15, but declared himself ready to play.

Now he must wait for the Orioles to become ready for him.

Manager Mike Hargrove indicated that a decision would be made last night, with an announcement likely to come today. The Orioles must make a corresponding roster move, and infielders Jose Leon and Luis Lopez appear to be the most vulnerable players.

In the meantime, Bordick continues to move freely without the cumbersome brace that immobilized his right leg. He's taking batting practice, scooping up ground balls and champing at the bit.

"Last week when I found out that I wouldn't have to wear that [brace] anymore, I was told basically to go out and get my leg strength back and it would just be how I feel and what I could do on the field," Bordick said.

"I think it's progressing fine. My leg feels good and I feel like I'm ready to go."

No pain for Ponson

Pitcher Sidney Ponson threw on the side from 100 feet and didn't report any pain yesterday, another indication that he could get through the remainder of the season without having surgery to repair a small tear in his labrum.

Team physician Dr. Charles Silberstein has recommended that Ponson rehabilitate the injury, which apparently dates back two years. Results of a magnetic resonance imaging test were sent to Anaheim Angels team physician Dr. Lewis Yocum, and Ponson said he still hadn't spoken to the doctor as the Orioles took batting practice.

Hargrove said he was "optimistic" that Ponson's pain-free throwing session would eliminate the need for an arthroscopic procedure on the pitcher's right shoulder.

Hentgen pitches on

The next start in Pat Hentgen's rehabilitation assignment will take place on Tuesday, but the location remains a mystery.

Standing in a hallway leading to the Orioles' dugout, Hentgen narrowed the choices to short-season Aberdeen and Single-A Frederick. He pitched at Aberdeen on Thursday after making appearances with the Gulf Coast Orioles and Single-A Delmarva.

So where's his next stop?

"It's up in the air," he said.

Hargrove didn't exactly bring the issue closer to the ground.

"I think it's going to be in Bowie," he said of the Double-A Baysox.

Hentgen got through Thursday's game with only his ego bruised. In five innings, he allowed eight runs (four earned) and 12 hits, walked none and struck out seven.

"They hit me pretty good," he said. "I just made some pitches that were out over the plate. I gave up a few early-count hits - 0-0, 0-1, 1-0 - where you're just trying to spot your ball. I just had poor location, but my stuff got better as the game went along."

Still looking for positives, Hentgen added, "I got a lot of work out of the stretch."

He also added more zip to his fastball, which topped out at 90 mph. "I think that's three consecutive starts where my velocity has peaked at a higher level," he said.

Hentgen noted that it's been "a year and four days" since his ligament-transplant surgery. "My arm strength is getting better," he said. "The other thing is I'm pain-free. It's nice to be able to go out on the mound and not have to worry about your elbow hurting."

Around the horn

Beau Hale, the 14th player taken in the 2000 draft, had his right shoulder examined by Silberstein yesterday at Camden Yards. Hale was scratched from Thursday's start with Double-A Bowie after complaining of stiffness in the shoulder. ... Hale is among six Orioles' prospects expected to play for the Maryvale Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League with pitchers Mike Paradis and Matt Riley, catcher Eli Whiteside and infielders Mike Fontenot and Doug Gredvig.

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