Orioles right fielder Sammy Sosa was placed on the 15-day disabled list yesterday retroactive to Aug. 26 because of a lesion on his right big toe. This is the second time this season that Sosa, who was hitting just .221 with 14 home runs and 45 RBIs, has been placed on the DL; the first was from May 5 to May 24 with an abscess and staph infection on the bottom of his left foot.
To fill Sosa's spot on the roster, the Orioles recalled first baseman Alejandro Freire from Double-A Bowie. Freire singled in his only at-bat in yesterday's 10-3 loss to Oakland.
Interim manager Sam Perlozzo said it did not appear the outfielder would be idle beyond the 15 days. "He's still in a lot of pain with his foot," Perlozzo said. "I guess he's had this in the past and he's missed some time. He felt like he was going to need some time with it."
Executive vice president for baseball operations Jim Beattie said after yesterday's loss that Sosa's lackluster performance this season has frustrated the 36-year-old veteran.
"I know this is a very tough time for him to go through," Beattie said. "He works very hard. ... He puts a lot of time in the batting cage. He comes in on days off to work in the batting cage. You just see that in spite of all that, he's just not catching up to pitches that I know he would have hit in the past."
Perlozzo said he intended to platoon B.J. Surhoff with David Newhan and Jay Gibbons in right field.
Surhoff, 41, just came off the 15-day disabled list himself Wednesday after suffering a strained groin. Newhan played yesterday in part because Perlozzo wanted to rest Surhoff for a day game following Saturday night's contest.
"I don't want B.J. to break down," Perlozzo said. "We'll have a little bit of a rotation. David hasn't been in there much lately. ... Any of them can have the job."
Perlozzo said it was unlikely that Sosa would accompany the team when it went on a six-game road trip tomorrow.
Ponson absent again
Beattie said that the Orioles are still discussing the Sidney Ponson situation and have not decided on a course of action. Ponson, who was not at Camden Yards for the third straight day yesterday, was arrested on drunken-driving charges early Thursday. It was his third arrest in nine months.
"I couldn't really tell you a specific time, but I think we're still in the fact finding and when the appropriate time comes, we'll try to address it more publicly than we have," Beattie said.
"That's really all I can say about it right now. He's been given permission to stay away from the club."
Perlozzo said that he planned on calling Ponson yesterday.
"He's on the team," Perlozzo said. "Until he's not here or around here, he's one of our guys. You can't just desert yourself from the guy as a person."
Penn a possibility?
Perlozzo still isn't sure if struggling left-hander Eric DuBose will make his next start, scheduled for Thursday. DuBose has allowed 14 hits and eight earned runs in his past two starts, lasting a total of four innings.
"I would think that we'll look at that pretty heavily," Perlozzo said. "At the very worst, we can use DuBose out of the bullpen as an extra left-hander."
Twenty-year-old right-hander Hayden Penn, the organization's top pitching prospect, is a candidate to be called up to start in DuBose's place or when rosters expand next week. Penn, who was 2-2 with a 6.75 ERA in seven starts for the Orioles, struggled at Bowie after the Orioles sent him down on July 1, but he has since found his form.
Camden goes Hollywood
Geena Davis, star of the television drama Commander in Chief, which will debut next month, threw out the first pitch yesterday. Scenes for a future episode were shot before the game with Orioles Hall of Fame pitcher and current broadcaster Jim Palmer and third base coach Rick Dempsey involved.
Opponent: Oakland Athletics
Site/Time: Camden Yards/3:05 p.m.
Radio: 1090 AM
Starters: Athletics' Kirk Saarloos (9-6, 3.92) vs. Orioles' Erik Bedard (6-5, 3.20)