Palmeiro still out of lineup with mild right-ankle sprain

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Cabrera gets treatment on back, could return Tuesday against Angels

August 21, 2005|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

CLEVELAND - Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro did some light running before batting practice yesterday and determined that he needed at least one more day before returning to the lineup.

Palmeiro suffered a mild sprain of his right ankle during Tuesday's game in Oakland, and he was scratched from the lineup the next day. He underwent X-rays that didn't show any serious damage.

"It's mild in nature but it can still be very bothersome," head trainer Richie Bancells said. "We tried to run and he said it was much better than it was the other day, but I don't want him to go backward and miss a whole bunch of games."

Palmeiro said the original injury might have occurred in the past and then became aggravated Tuesday when he turned the ankle while leaving the batter's box. He's able to apply pressure on the ankle - walking doesn't pose a problem - but he's not ready to run at full speed.

"He's a lot better but he still feels it a little bit," interim manager Sam Perlozzo said. "We want to make sure when he gets in there that he's good to go. He's probably available to pinch hit if we need it."

Meanwhile, Daniel Cabrera underwent treatment on his back and said it felt better. Cabrera was scratched from Wednesday's start because of a strain, and he's tentatively scheduled to pitch Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels at Camden Yards.

"He'd probably be pushing it for that, although it's a possibility," Perlozzo said.

Said Bancells: "It's much better than I anticipated it would be. It's very encouraging. But I don't know what that means in terms of when he'll be able to pitch again. I'm not going to have him do much today and just treat it and see where we are tomorrow, as far as him being able to throw.

"It's not quite there yet, but it's much better."

Cabrera's back began to bother him as he warmed up for Wednesday's game. Eric DuBose replaced him and allowed one hit in six scoreless innings.

DuBose and John Maine are candidates to replace Cabrera if he can't make Tuesday's start. Maine is the only long reliever available in the bullpen, and he'll be eliminated from consideration if he's needed against the Indians.

Sidney Ponson is eligible to come off the disabled list on Tuesday, when the Orioles begin a seven-game homestand, but his strained right calf muscle has been slow to heal. He went on the disabled list retroactive to Aug. 8.

"Unfortunately, that portion of the calf that goes up behind the knee can take a little bit of time," Bancells said.

Miller back

Pitching coach Ray Miller returned to the club after skipping the series in Oakland and returning to his home in New Athens, Ohio, for health-related reasons.

Miller underwent unspecified tests and said he was given four options on a medical procedure that he'll undergo after the season. He didn't provide more details or say whether the issue is related to the heart attack he suffered in 2001.

"I'm going to have to get some things done that are pretty serious, and there are several different ways to do it, and they told me to take a few days and think about it," he said. "It's something I'll get done at the end of the year, and I'll let you know about it then."

Miller's contract runs out after the season, and he hasn't said whether he'll return in 2006 if he's invited back. He replaced Mark Wiley on June 26, 2004.

Perlozzo, Sosa chat

Since being named interim manager earlier this month, Perlozzo has made a habit of walking through the clubhouse and talking to the players, checking on their health and energy level, or informing them of potential lineup changes.

Before Tuesday's game in Oakland, Perlozzo sought out Sammy Sosa and informed the outfielder that he'd be rested the next day, but would start last night's series opener at Jacobs Field.

"We had a nice conversation," Perlozzo said. "I just told him that I was trying to do something to help him along, get him to relax a little bit. I hadn't had a chance to actually speak with him. I said, `Look, I'll just give you off [Wednesday] and then the next day, you can ease your mind and then you'll be back at it in Cleveland.'

"He's put a lot of pressure on himself. He's a proud man and he expects to do well. Hopefully, he can continue to swing the bat and help us."

Sun staff writer Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.

Orioles tonight

Opponent: Cleveland Indians

Site/Time: Cleveland/ 7:05

TV/Radio: Ch. 54/1090 AM

Starters: Orioles' Rodrigo Lopez (12-6, 4.68) vs. Indians' Cliff Lee (12-4, 4.03)

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