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Poole season put off for a few days


SARASOTA, Fla. -- Relief pitcher Jim Poole will be sidelined for at least the next few days with shoulder soreness, but club officials say the problem is not a matter of serious concern at this point.

"Obviously, it's enough of a concern for us to shut him down for a couple of days," manager John Oates said, "but the doctors don't think there's anything more than tenderness in there. It's just better to get it taken care of now."

Poole was a pleasant surprise during an unpleasant 1991 season. The left-handed pitcher appeared in 24 games after being called up to the major-league roster July 30 and had a 3-2 record with a 2.00 ERA.

He impressed the coaching staff with the resilience of his pitching arm, but he apparently has a history of opening spring training with shoulder soreness.

"Jim told the trainers that he has a tough time getting started in the spring," Oates said. "I was the same way late in my career. If I didn't throw all year round, I had to get out the WD-40 when I fired it back up again."

The Orioles figure to be particularly conservative with their young pitchers this spring. They lost starter Ben McDonald to a training-camp injury each of the past two years and cannot afford to start the season short-handed again.

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