Gibbons gets Anaheim boarding pass

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Outfielder likely to return

Matos is set for surgery

August 10, 2004|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

Orioles outfielder Jay Gibbons boarded the team's flight to Anaheim, Calif., last night and will likely be activated today from the disabled list, where he's been since June 29 because of a strained left hip flexor.

But the Orioles did not make a corresponding roster move yesterday, bringing 26 players on the flight.

"We don't want to make a move now and then something happens," said Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli. "We'll wait to see if everything is OK."

To make room for Gibbons, the Orioles could pare back from three catchers to two, reassigning either Ken Huckaby or Robert Machado.

Or the Orioles could put outfielder Karim Garcia, who has missed the past four games with a sore heel, on the disabled list. However, Mazzili said again yesterday that Garcia is available if needed and seems adamantly against such a move.

Relief pitcher Jason Grimsley hurt his hip yesterday and limped off the mound after walking David Dellucci in the seventh, but Grimsley's condition was described as day-to-day after the game. The Orioles reliever, who now has 11 straight scoreless outings, also said he'll be fine.

Finding a spot in the lineup for Gibbons, who was hitting .223 with six home runs and 28 RBIs before the hip injury, could be difficult.

B.J. Surhoff, who has started the past four games in right field, has one of the team's hottest bats since his return from the disabled list. David Newhan, who has been in the lineup primarily as the designated hitter, and Larry Bigbie, the starting left fielder, have also been in good grooves at the plate.

"I feel good and hopefully I'll come back and help the team," said Gibbons, who went 3-for-21 in rehab assignments with Frederick and Bowie. "I just want to stay out of the way right now. I want to lay low in the clubhouse and hopefully, we'll keep winning.

"You have a lot of time to think when you are sitting at home, but [injuries] are part of the game and I just need to finish strong."

Matos says goodbyes

Set for season-ending surgery on his right shin tomorrow at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Orioles center fielder Luis Matos said his goodbyes to teammates in the clubhouse following yesterday's game.

Matos, who suffered the stress fracture in the shin on July 21 in Boston while slamming into the Green Monster making a catch, is unsure where he'll be rehabbing after the surgery.

"I'd love to be here, but it depends on what they tell me," said Matos, who played in 89 games this season, hitting .224. "They could want me here or they could send me home. ... I am going to take it easy and hopefully, I'll feel 100 percent for spring training. That's my main goal."

Catcher worth watching

Before yesterday's game, the Orioles worked out Kenley Jansen, a 16-year-old switch-hitting catcher from Curacao.

With team vice president Mike Flanagan, Mazzilli and several other members of the Orioles front office looking on, Jansen was led through some throwing drills, followed by batting practice.

Last year, Jansen was on the Curacao 16-and-under national team, which won a world championship.

Around the horn

Pitcher Kurt Ainsworth, who had surgery on his right elbow after being optioned to Ottawa in late May, made his first rehab start for Aberdeen on Sunday night, pitching three hitless innings and striking out four. ... David Segui will start another rehab assignment today with Bowie. Segui has not played since his surgically repaired knee swelled up while playing for Bowie on July 29.

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