Shuey strains right Achilles' covering plate

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Reliever who retired in 2005 will undergo an MRI today

March 10, 2007|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,Sun reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. -- Orioles reliever Paul Shuey, attempting to make a comeback after retiring two years ago, strained his right Achilles' tendon yesterday while covering home plate against the Washington Nationals. He'll undergo a magnetic resonance imaging test today to determine the severity.

Under the best-case scenario, it appears that Shuey, invited to camp as a nonroster player, will be unable to pitch for the next two weeks, damaging his chances of making the team.

"It's not going to help him, obviously," manager Sam Perlozzo said. "The main thing is, it's not severe. If it's a couple weeks, we'll take that gladly and get him back in shape and get him going because he's somebody who can help us down the road."

Shuey, 36, hit the leadoff batter, former Oriole Darnell McDonald, who took third on two errors by second baseman Freddie Bynum on the same play. Shuey bounced a 1-2 pitch to D'Angelo Jimenez, and he pulled up while racing to the plate, hopping on his left foot to ease the pain.

Head trainer Richie Bancells ran onto the field, and Shuey again had to lift his right foot off the ground a few times while limping to the clubhouse.

"It's pretty bad. It's pretty upsetting," said Shuey, who wore a walking boot after receiving treatment. "Whatever. Life will stink for a while, and then I get to throw again."

Shuey, who hasn't pitched since making one appearance for Double-A Akron in April 2005, said he noticed tenderness in his ankle after running sprints in the outfield after his previous outing.

"The next day I took it easy. And today it felt great," he said. "Then it popped."

Dubois lets bat talk

Hitting .275 with 22 homers and 87 RBIs didn't earn Jason Dubois a promotion from the Cleveland Indians' Triple-A Buffalo affiliate last season, so it's understandable that his spring success with the Orioles this year hasn't gone to his head.

Dubois, who turns 28 later this month, started in left field yesterday after collecting five hits in his first seven at-bats. He reached on an infield single against Nationals left-hander Matt Chico to open the third inning and scored on a bases-loaded walk.

Signed as a minor league free agent in December, he's a long shot to accompany the team north as its fifth outfielder. But at least he's gotten noticed.

"I didn't really know ... what my chances were here," he said. "I'm just playing hard and hopefully I'll make it. If not, I know there's going to be a lot of talent here that doesn't make it, and I'll be waiting in the wings to take over if somebody gets hurt. But as of right now, I'm going to go out and play and have fun with it, and if it happens, it happens."

Dubois has been waiting until the regulars leave to get onto the field. He came to the plate only once Thursday, but delivered a single.

"I'm just putting good swings on the ball and seeing the ball and not trying to do too much with it," he said. "When they give me an opportunity to hit and I get a base hit, I've done my job and I wait for the next one."

Wright goes two

Jaret Wright went two innings yesterday, blanking the Nationals on one hit and striking out three. He retired the last six batters after Jimenez's leadoff single.

The Orioles limited Wright to one inning in his debut, as they proceed with caution because of his past shoulder problems. He threw 31 pitches yesterday, 19 for strikes.

"I thought it was a lot better than the first one, mechanically," he said. "The first inning today I was a little on the side of the ball. The second inning I got more on top and felt a little bit better."

Wright had some trouble getting loose before his first start, but his arm was more cooperative yesterday.

"A little bit better," he said. "It's what you hope for. Every time things get a little bit closer, you try to peak toward the end of spring and take it into the season."

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

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