First baseman Glenn Davis spent yesterday in New York City, where he met with three doctors and underwent tests in an attempt to get a clearer picture of the neck injury that has forced him onto the disabled list.
The results of the testing, which included Magnetic Resonance Imaging, probably will be available today. Baltimore Orioles officials, who indicated it wasn't certain whether Davis would see more doctors, said they will withhold comment until the evaluation is complete.
The level of concern is understandably high, since Davis is the most expensive player in club history and his $3.275 million contract apparently was not insured by the team.
General manager Roland Hemond said teams seldom insure one-year contracts, because the policies generally cover only career-ending injuries.
"A lot of clubs don't even do it with their multi-year contracts anymore," he said. "That was something that was a lot more common when they first started giving out long-term contracts. But even if a player gets hurt seriously, he generally comes back to play at some point."
Davis faces the possibility of surgery if the initial diagnosis (a damaged spinal accessory nerve) is confirmed by doctors in New York, but that does not necessarily mean he will be lost for the entire season.
Milligan back at first, for now
Manager Frank Robinson said yesterday that Randy Milligan will not bounce between left field and first base while Davis is sidelined, even though that would mean more roster flexibility.
"He's not out of the left-field picture," Robinson said, "but if it is determined that Davis is out for the year, you'll probably see Milligan play the majority of the time at first base."
Milligan will be the full-time first baseman until Davis returns, which will leave the club short on outfield depth.
Robinson ruled out a quick promotion for David Segui, who has been playing left field for the Class AAA Rochester Red Wings. Segui apparently has been battling some nagging injuries.
The ERA no concern
Seattle starter Rich DeLucia said he wasn't worried about his 7.00 ERA before his outing last night.
"I wasn't concerned about that this early in the season," he said after beating the Orioles, 10-1. "I had to prove I could pitch up here."
In his ninth major-league start, DeLucia prospered from early offensive support and worked into the eighth inning.
"The four runs early were a big relief," he said. "They make it much easier to pitch. But with my fastball working, I felt that even in a closer game I would have been comfortable."
White House magic
Harold Reynolds had the key hit in Seattle's four-run second inning last night, a ground ball through the middle that climaxed the rally.
"At first, I thought Cal [Ripken] was going to get it," said Reynolds, who visited some White House staff members before the game yesterday.
"That was a big hit. We haven't been getting those kinds of hits," he said.
Reynolds went 6-for-12 in a series here last September after meeting President Bush, who thanked him for his community service. He hit the only grand slam of his career in that series.
No magical formula
Robinson said there is not much to do about the team's hitting woes except wait.
"There's nothing magical about the game," he said. "But how long do you wait to see some improvement? It would be much easier if it were one or two guys, take them down and sit them.
"But dealing with as many as we are, it's difficult to do that."
Ripken's bunt single in the sixth inning was the 1,574th of his career, tying him for third place on the team list with Boog Powell. . . . Ripken sat out the ninth inning, the 22nd time he has left a game early in the past 1,428. This is the third time he has left early this season.