Hobbled Millar is in no hurry to take day off


First baseman slowed by hamstring, shin bruise, but resists idea of rest


June 01, 2008|By Roch Kubatko and Jeff Zrebiec | Roch Kubatko and Jeff Zrebiec,[Sun reporters]

Orioles first baseman Kevin Millar received treatment yesterday for a strained right hamstring and badly bruised left shin. He was packed in ice but insistent that he didn't need to leave the lineup.

Millar injured the hamstring about 10 days ago and said he has been running with a "choppier" motion to compensate for it. Adding to his pain, he has a sizable bruise on his lower left leg after fouling off a pitch from Andy Pettitte during Wednesday's game.

Manager Dave Trembley indicated that he might rest Millar once in the coming days, a decision that would surely be met unfavorably.

"He's the manager, but I'll resist it if it's because of the hamstring," Millar said. "I'm 100 percent fine. Dave knows I'm 100 percent fine."

Said Trembley: "You won't get a very good read from Millar. You'll have to do your homework and go to other areas and try and find out really what's going on because he'll never want out. He'll want to play."

Millar drew criticism from fans after appearing to pull up before reaching first base in the 12th inning of Friday night's game. Boston Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo bobbled the ball, recovered it and threw out Millar, who wasn't going full speed down the line. The Red Sox scored three times in the 13th to win.

"I've been masking it," Millar said of the hamstring injury. "Have I gone full speed on it since I had the strain? No. But as far as [Friday] night's play, I ran down the line the way I've run down the line the last 10 days. The problem is, when the crowd reacted, I stopped on the base. I didn't shut it down 10 feet before the play was over. Usually, though, I run through the base seven or eight steps. But if you watch the video, I just stopped right as I hit the bag. And that was the situation. It wasn't like I shut down on the play. That's the whole ball of wax.

"I'm slow either way. Without this, we'd be talking about how Lugo could bobble it five times and I'd have been thrown out halfway to left field on a backhand play. I'm slow. Me, [Paul] Konerko, Charles Johnson, all the guys, we [stink]. That's the big picture. This isn't an injury issue. This isn't like, `Did I shut down the play?' I don't shut down plays. I'm a slow runner."

Said Trembley: "He just didn't run good. I think he was giving us what he had."

Trembley considered sitting Millar on Tuesday before changing his mind and watching the first baseman hit two home runs.

"I told him the night before on the way out of the clubhouse, `Tomorrow, I'm going to give you a day off.' He said, `No, no.' But we're fastly approaching that. I think I need to look at that a little more closely," Trembley said.

MacPhail in the minors

With the Orioles on the road two weeks ago to face the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays, club president Andy MacPhail turned his attention to evaluating some of the organization's prospects.

MacPhail spent four days watching the Norfolk Tides, the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate.

"I've talked a lot about scouting and development, and if you really believe in that stuff, you should put your butt in the seats and watch those teams play," said MacPhail, who is in the process of setting aside time to watch the other Orioles' affiliates in the coming days.

"I don't want to pick them off one at a time. If I can, I'd like to go to at least four games and see most of the starters and get a feel for the team."

Around the horn

Trembley said reliever Matt Albers remains a candidate to start Tuesday in Minnesota despite throwing three innings against the Red Sox on Friday. Norfolk's Radhames Liz, who pitched a scoreless first inning last night and was replaced by Ryan Bukvich - an appearance that amounted to a side session, is also a possibility. ... Steve Trachsel, who apparently will be skipped in the rotation again, was available in the bullpen last night as a second long man with Lance Cormier.



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