Segui's season is likely over

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Minor-league rehab was on horizon, but team doesn't want to rush him

Notebook

August 28, 2002|By Joe Christensen and Roch Kubatko | Joe Christensen and Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

ARLINGTON, Texas - Strike or no strike, the season appears to be finished for Orioles first baseman David Segui.

Segui, a switch-hitter who underwent surgery on his left wrist May 21, has been able to swing the bat left-handed but not right-handed, and he said yesterday that the club has suggested he wait until next season before returning.

Segui thought he was ready to begin a minor-league rehabilitation assignment last week, but the team doesn't want to rush him. It has three healthy players to use in the first base/designated hitter role - Jeff Conine, Chris Richard and Jay Gibbons - and having Segui in the mix would only add to the logjam.

"It's disappointing," Segui said. "I see both sides of it. There's still more pain in [the wrist] than I had before the surgery. I think the cartilage has healed, but with the tendon, I hadn't anticipated there was that much damage."

Segui played just 26 games this season before having the surgery, and he has played just 108 games in the first two years of his $28 million, four-year contract. He was batting .306 on April 26, when the wrist got caught underneath the kneepad of Kansas City Royals catcher Brent Mayne.

Segui started seven more games after that, and his average slipped to .263.

"It's disappointing to miss this much time," Segui said. "I want to get back in there, especially when we're playing this well. It's an exciting lineup, and an exciting team to be on right now."

Bauer's perspective

Orioles reliever Rick Bauer remembers the last time a baseball strike affected his life. He was a high school student in Idaho in 1994, still four years away from being drafted and beginning his professional career. Still carrying a fan's perspective.

"I hated the players after that," he said. "I was like, `They're so greedy. I'll play for free right now.' But now I see it's a different story."

If only he knew how this one ended.

The strike date imposed by the players union arrives Friday, and the Orioles will fly to Anaheim, united in their willingness to participate in major-league baseball's ninth work stoppage in 30 years but hoping to avoid it.

"There are some rights that you have, and when someone wants to take them away, you're going to have a little complaint about that," Bauer said. "And I think players have given in plenty to have something settled. I just hope it gets settled because it will hurt baseball.

"Fans are already griping, `Strike this, strike that.' Even people I know are saying, `If you guys strike, if you're in the big leagues, you'll probably be the only guy I watch because baseball is wrong for doing that.' I see where they're coming from. Nobody here wants to strike, by any means. Nobody's saying, `I don't want to play baseball.' Everyone wants to play."

It's difficult for Bauer and his teammates to get a clear read on the negotiations because the mood seems to change daily. One day brings optimism, but the next takes it away. This is one roller coaster he doesn't want to ride.

"From what I've heard about what's going on," he said, "it just seems like it's tattletaling and bullying. You're like, `Just settle it. Quit griping about everything.' But it's something players have to do with the way things are going."

Matthews update

Outfielder Gary Matthews had a magnetic resonance imaging exam performed on his injured right wrist Monday, and he said it showed no structural damage, just fluid buildup from tendinitis.

Matthews went on the disabled list Sunday, and the Orioles hope to have him back within two weeks.

Erickson's next start

Manager Mike Hargrove said Scott Erickson is scheduled to make his next start Saturday in Anaheim.

Erickson lasted just 1 2/3 innings in his latest start, Friday against the Blue Jays. He came back and pitched two innings of scoreless relief Sunday against the Blue Jays, and instead of having him miss an entire trip through the rotation, the Orioles are simply pushing his next start back a couple days.

Around the horn

Orioles traveling secretary Phil Itzoe said the club will fly to Anaheim, Calif., after tomorrow's game, as scheduled, and wait there to see whether the players union declares a strike Friday. If a strike is declared, Orioles players will likely be allowed to ride back to Baltimore on the team charter, Itzoe said. Major League Baseball has left that decision up to the individual clubs. ... Pat Hentgen allowed two runs, one earned, in six innings last night in a rehabilitation start for Double-A Bowie against Reading. Hentgen, coming back from ligament transplant surgery in his right elbow, will likely make one more start before rejoining the Orioles' roster.

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