O's Grimsley avoids DL for now

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Mazzilli content to wait on reliever's hip injury

August 13, 2004|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Orioles reliever Jason Grimsley stayed on the active roster yesterday while the team determined the severity of his hip injury.

Grimsley strained his left hip flexor after stepping in a hole during Monday's game at Camden Yards. The cramping sensation returned two nights later as he threw high to first base, and the error contributed to a 4-2 loss to the Anaheim Angels that halted the Orioles' winning streak at eight.

Asked yesterday if the disabled list is a consideration, manager Lee Mazzilli said, "No, not right now. He's going to go out and throw again and see how it feels."

With first base open in the seventh inning and Vladimir Guerrero coming up, Mazzilli said he would have kept Grimsley in the game if the injury hadn't flared up. Instead, he brought in left-hander B.J. Ryan, who intentionally walked Guerrero before Garret Anderson's two-run single broke a 1-1 tie. Jose Guillen followed with an RBI double.

Grimsley told Mazzilli earlier in the day that he was available to pitch despite some lingering pain. Mazzilli seemed to appreciate the bulldog mentality, even if it came back to bite the club.

"I'd rather have it that way than the other way," he said.

"Some guys at 80 percent are going to give you everything they have. Obviously if he doesn't have it, you're not going to put him out there. Sometimes that works to a fault with some guys. But he's been around long enough to know that he's not going to put the team in jeopardy. If he doesn't think he can do it, he'll let you know."

Big bopper Bigbie

After hitting four homers in six games, Larry Bigbie failed to clear the fence the past two days in Anaheim.

It was an impressive run while it lasted.

"It's just a matter of feeling good at the plate and being a little more patient," said Bigbie, who raised his total to 13 this season.

"I'm not really trying to hit home runs. I'm just trying to hit the ball hard in the gaps, but I've been able to get some pitches that I've been able to do something with. [Tuesday], I hit a line drive that carried over the fence. I didn't think it was going to be a home run. I thought it was going to be a double. I didn't even watch it."

Bigbie has become more conscious of hitting to the opposite field. His homer Tuesday carried to left-center.

"Raffy [Palmeiro] just told me, if he could hit the ball out the opposite way he'd never try to pull it," Bigbie said.

"I felt like earlier in the year I got pull-happy after I hit a couple home runs. But now I'm just trying to hit the ball hard and not worry about home runs. I'm just trying to take my approach the other way."

That theory also works when trying to hit left-handers, something Bigbie had trouble doing until recently. Only one of his past four homers has come against a right-hander.

"I tried to be too quick against left-handers and turn on them," he said. "It's just a matter of trying to keep my sights the other way and get a good pitch to hit and not be so conscious to pull the ball."

Elusive target

When Orioles reliever Todd Williams drilled Anderson on the leg in the eighth inning, it marked the first time Anderson had been hit since Aug. 25, 1998.

The Angels' center fielder went 3,807 consecutive plate appearances without being struck. Hideki Irabu was the last pitcher to hit him.

"That's incredible," Williams said. "Not that I hit him, but that it had been so long."

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.