Cabrera to miss start, possibly go on the DL

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

He'll test strained back in side session

DuBose gets start

Surhoff is better

Notebook

August 22, 2005|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

CLEVELAND - Removed from consideration for tomorrow's start, Orioles pitcher Daniel Cabrera might go on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his back that requires daily treatments and has forced interim manager Sam Perlozzo to adjust the rotation.

Left-hander Eric DuBose will start tomorrow against the Los Angeles Angels at Camden Yards. Cabrera will attempt to throw on the side that day, an activity he hasn't participated in because of the lingering pain.

Cabrera, 8-11 with a 5.00 ERA, was scratched from his most recent scheduled start after injuring his back while warming up in the bullpen. DuBose replaced him and tossed six scoreless innings, allowing one hit.

"We're toying with the possibility of the DL," Perlozzo said. "If he's able to throw [on the] side and doesn't have any side effects, it's possible, depending on how he feels, maybe get him a rehab start for three or four innings and get him back on target to start for us shortly after that. It's all going to be up to how he progresses."

A short stint in the minors could benefit Cabrera for reasons other than his health.

"It wouldn't hurt him to work on his mechanics a little bit and get ... him feeling good about himself," Perlozzo said.

DuBose pitched one inning of relief Saturday night. "That was his side session to start Tuesday," Perlozzo said.

"We wanted to save him in case we needed him a little later in the game. So instead of throwing on the side, we got him an inning."

Surhoff is due back

Outfielder B.J. Surhoff appears ready to come off the disabled list tomorrow, which most likely would return Alejandro Freire to the minor leagues.

Surhoff went on the disabled list, retroactive to Aug. 8, with a strained left groin muscle. He has been running before games with minimal discomfort.

"As of right now, I think I'll be ready, barring something unforeseen," he said.

Surhoff, 41, indicated he hasn't decided whether he'll play next season. "It's way too early," he said. "About six months early."

Shades of 1988

With each loss by the Kansas City Royals, certain members of the Orioles' organization were reminded again of the 1988 season. The team lost 21 straight games, a major league record that still stands.

The Royals dropped 19 in a row before defeating the Oakland Athletics on Saturday night, 2-1. The Orioles still hold the dubious record and memories that won't fade.

"Every day at the ballpark I thought that we would win," said Elrod Hendricks, then as now the Orioles' bullpen coach. "I figured if we tried to lose 21 games in a row, we couldn't.

" ... We were glad to see it over. It was like a 1,000-pound weight off your shoulders. Finally, the grass smelled a little bit better. You felt better breathing after you got away from that."

Imagine broadcasting the games on radio and trying to maintain a semblance of optimism and enthusiasm.

"They kept finding ways to lose," said Joe Angel, who returned to the Orioles' broadcast booth last season. "You get to the point where, even if you're leading late in the ballgame, you start saying, `How are we going to lose this one?'

"Once it got to about 11 or 12 consecutive losses, it became the biggest story in the country for all the wrong reasons. Every game was like a playoff game because the media kept getting bigger and bigger. People from all over the world started showing up, and you couldn't walk through the clubhouse. There was so much negativity.

"You go 0-21, you finally win a game, and you go in the clubhouse the next day and nobody's there. Nobody cared anymore. Now you're just one of the worst teams that ever played. Before, you were interesting."

Angel said he was rooting for the Royals to break the record.

"If you're going to do something bad," he said, "do it well."

Around the horn

Sidney Ponson (strained right calf) is eligible to come off the DL tomorrow, but his return is being delayed because of swelling in his right thumb. X-rays taken Saturday were negative. Ponson was hit on the thumb during the July 28 game. ... Jay Gibbons didn't start for the second straight day, but Perlozzo said it isn't for health reasons. The Indians' past two starters were left-handers. Jarrod Washburn, another lefty, will pitch for the Angels tomorrow, but Gibbons is expected to be in the lineup.

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