Orioles pitching coach Ray Miller will undergo surgery Oct. 12 to treat an aneurysm below his heart, and his recovery could determine whether he remains in baseball or retires to his home in New Athens, Ohio.
"That will dictate everything," he said.
The procedure will take place at Johns Hopkins Hospital, with an estimated recovery time of eight weeks.
Miller left the team during an August trip to Oakland and was given four medical options. "None of them were good," he said. He declined to have surgery over the winter, but was urged to get it done by October.
Miller's contract runs out after the season.
Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts will have ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery, which is essentially Tommy John surgery, on his left elbow this morning in Cincinnati.
Roberts, who suffered the injury Sept. 20 in New York, also will have his flexor tendon reattached by Dr. Timothy Kremchek, the Cincinnati Reds team doctor who repaired Jason Grimsley's arm in the offseason.
The timetable for Roberts' return remains six months and the All-Star is aiming to be ready by Opening Day.
"There is no reason for him to do anything until the first of the year," said trainer Richie Bancells.
Eric Byrnes wants to return next season, but after struggling mightily since the Orioles acquired him in a trade with Colorado for Larry Bigbie, he doesn't like his chances.
Byrnes, who is hitting .199 with three home runs and 11 RBIs since the trade, earned $2.2 million in 2005, but since he's eligible for arbitration, he probably will not be tendered a contract.
"I don't expect to be back here, no," he said. "The organization has been great. They gave me an opportunity to play when I first got here and I accept full responsibility for not producing. I know in my mind the type of player I am. Whether or not they feel the same way remains to be seen."
Around the horn
Grimsley (1-2, 5.73) has no plans to retire, though he is unsure he'll be back with the Orioles. "It depends what happens and the changes they make," he said. "And they'd have to want me back, too." ... Last night's game drew 36,821 fans, increasing the total attendance this season at Camden Yards to 2,624,740.