Gibbons to miss another week

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Hip and knee injuries not healed, outfielder says he's unable to run

June 04, 2006|By CHILDS WALKER | CHILDS WALKER,SUN REPORTER

Orioles right fielder Jay Gibbons will miss at least another week with injuries to his left hip and right knee.

Gibbons said he didn't want to go on the disabled list but admitted that he can't run without pain. "I'm OK to hit," he said. "Everything feels fine there, but I can't explode on my leg at all running."

Gibbons suffered the injuries when he crashed into the outfield wall last weekend in Anaheim, Calif. He missed six games before going on the 15-day disabled list Friday night. Gibbons missed more than a month with a left hip injury in 2004, and the club didn't want him to exacerbate the soreness this time.

"His hip seems to be the biggest problem," said manager Sam Perlozzo. "He's not been able to run. We felt like the injury, if it wasn't healed, had the chance to get worse and we'd lose him for an extended period of time."

Perlozzo said he considered using Gibbons at designated hitter, but the club already has a glut of options there among Javy Lopez, Jeff Conine and Kevin Millar. And Gibbons wasn't sure he could run the bases anyway.

"You can't just jog around the bases on a ball in the gap," he said.

Gibbons was one of the team's main power sources before he got hurt, batting .268 with 10 homers and 29 RBIs. He said that given his past injury problems, the Orioles are correct to be cautious.

"Honestly, I'm a little upset about it, but I'm also thinking smart, where I think it was the right thing to do, too," he said.

Rotation shuffle

Daniel Cabrera will come off the disabled list and start tomorrow in place of Bruce Chen.

Chen was available to pitch in long relief yesterday and probably will start Thursday, Perlozzo said. That could mean that yesterday's starter, Adam Loewen, will be sent back to the minors, though Perlozzo said that wasn't a sure thing.

Cabrera threw a side session Friday and emerged feeling fine. He said he felt no soreness after making a rehabilitation start for Double-A Bowie last week. Cabrera pitched four no-hit innings in that game, striking out seven and walking one.

More starts for Matos

Gibbons' injury is likely to create more playing time for Luis Matos.

Matos has struggled for most of the season but had five hits in his previous 11 at-bats before going 0-for-4 yesterday. He is batting .184 with two homers for the season.

Matos said he didn't adjust easily to not playing every day early in the year. Then, he missed time with a shoulder injury that hampered his throwing.

He met with Perlozzo recently to discuss why he wasn't playing but said he wasn't growing discouraged.

"It's only June," Matos said. "How am I going to be frustrated? If it's September, and I have those numbers ... but it's only June 3. I have plenty of time to get the rhythm back and put everything together."

He said he hasn't thought about going to another team, where he might play more.

"You can't be thinking about that," he said. "That's not my job. That never passed through my mind, because I just need to concentrate about baseball."

Perlozzo said that as long as Matos hits decently, he'll play. With Corey Patterson entrenched in center, most of Matos' starts probably will come in right or left field, and he said he's comfortable with that.

A streak of steals

Patterson stole a base for the seventh straight game yesterday, the longest streak in the majors in the past decade. childs.walker@baltsun.com

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