As good as he'll get, Segui set to return

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Vet went on DL in April

Bigbie waits out groin pull

Notebook

August 18, 2004|By Roch Kubatko and Jeff Zrebiec | Roch Kubatko and Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

Other than some muscle soreness in his legs, David Segui made it through his injury rehab assignment without incident and most likely will be activated this week by the Orioles.

It's possible Segui will return to the 25-man roster today if Jerry Hairston is put on the disabled list, though no decision has been made.

Segui started at first base for Single-A Frederick on Monday, the only time he played in the field, and didn't report any swelling in his left knee.

"It's as good as it's going to get. It's not going to get any better," said Segui, who's batting .298 with one homer and seven RBIs.

"It's 100 percent of what I've got left."

Segui said the knee had some mild swelling a few days ago, but it didn't present any serious problems. He had to be pulled off his first assignment after one game at Double-A Bowie, raising doubts about his status for the remainder of the season.

"It was nice to be back playing again, even down there, getting back in a competitive mode instead of riding exercise bikes," he said. "It went real well. I had a good time."

If the knee holds up, the switch-hitting Segui will occasionally replace Rafael Palmeiro at first base against left-handers. The Orioles need another right-handed bat.

"I'll go all out for as far as it'll let me go," he said. "We're getting to that point. There's no sense pacing yourself. I've got to play like it's my last day, and if it really is my last day, then so be it."

Segui, 38, is in the last year of his contract and is contemplating retirement. On the disabled list since April 25, Segui would like to finish 2004 with his health intact, especially with the Orioles showing so much improvement in the second half.

"It's always more exciting when you're playing with an opportunity to get your foot in the door to the postseason," he said.

Bigbie injury `freak thing'

Left fielder Larry Bigbie missed his second straight game with a strained groin muscle that he sustained after slipping on the rubber turf in foul ground during batting practice Monday.

It's possible that Bigbie won't return to the lineup until Friday when the team begins a three-game series with Toronto.

Bigbie hurt his groin in spring training, but hadn't experienced any recurring problems.

"It was just kind of a freak thing," he said. "My back foot just slid out from underneath me and I felt a little tug in the groin. It's something that hopefully will get resolved in a few days. Hopefully [tomorrow's] off day will help."

Bigbie had hits in 10 of his past 12 games, batting .333 with four homers and 11 RBIs, before the injury.

"I'm finally feeling good at the plate and something like this happens," he said. "It's kind of frustrating."

Coming full circle

Oakland's Mark McLemore is back in the place where he figured to be all along.

In early February, the Orioles signed the 15-year major league veteran to a minor league contract, reuniting McLemore with the franchise he played with from 1992 to 1994. But he tore knee cartilage during spring training, and rather than going on the minor league disabled list, he asked for his release.

The Orioles obliged, and McLemore signed with Oakland on April 5. He is hitting .253 with one homer and 13 RBIs.

"It's always great to come here and play," said McLemore, who started at third base Monday night while Eric Chavez nursed a sore back.

"We're playing well and I'm enjoying it. I'm sure I would have had fun here, but I think everybody's goal is to win. I'm not saying [the Orioles] didn't have a chance to win, but circumstances changed. There are definitely no bad feelings."

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