Spring Training


Baines sits out for knee treatment

Oates: No reason for any worry

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Harold Baines missed the Orioles' workout yesterday after having fluid drained off both knees Wednesday.

Manager Johnny Oates was quick to point out that there was no need for alarm either for Baines' absence or the fact he didn't play in either of the team's intrasquad games.

"It's a normal thing for him to have his knees drained when the fluid builds up," said Oates. "He had it done after the workout [Wednesday] and had to stay off his knees for 24 hours."

Although it was classified as a routine procedure, Oates said Baines might have hastened his condition during the early workouts. "I think maybe he tried to do too much," said Oates.

"In the past, he's relied on the exercise bike rather than running for his leg conditioning. But he came to me early and said he wanted to run with everybody else," said Oates.

"My guess is, coming to a new team, he wanted to do what everybody else was doing, at least until he got to know and feel comfortable with new teammates. From now on, I think we'll restrict him to the bike rather than have him run."

Baines was not scheduled to play in the first two exhibition games, against the Pittsburgh Pirates today and the St. Louis Cardinals tomorrow, because the Orioles will be the visiting team and the designated hitter will not be used. Oates said Baines will resume workouts today and is scheduled to be the DH Sunday, when the Orioles are host to the Cardinals in St. Petersburg.

Hitters and pitchers returned to normality during the Orioles' second intrasquad game, which concluded the first phase of spring training.

Mike Mussina, Ben McDonald, Gregg Olson, Jim Poole and Todd Frohwirth all pitched two scoreless innings as coach Jerry Narron's team beat the one managed by Elrod Hendricks, 5-2.

The only home run of the game came off the bat of Jeffrey Hammonds, last year's No. 1 draft pick, who connected off Mark Williamson in the seventh inning. A day before, with a strong wind blowing out, six homers were hit as Hendricks' team beat Narron's, 11-6.

Hammonds, who had two hits, including a double and two RBI in the first game, continued to impress Oates. "I'm going to play him as much as possible to get a read on him," said Oates.

Harold Reynolds, who had a home run, single and sacrifice fly in the first game, drove in a run with a single, giving him five RBI in the two-game series.

Hoiles OKs one-year deal

The Orioles' list of unsigned players was reduced to two yesterday when catcher Chris Hoiles agreed to terms.

Hoiles is one of the players the Orioles have been trying to sign to a multi-year contract, but both sides decided to put this year in place while negotiations continue.

Pitcher Mike Mussina and outfielder Doug Jennings are the only players in camp who are unsigned. The parties have until March 11 to reach agreement before the club exercises its option to renew contracts.

Telford, O'Donoghue out

Neither Anthony Telford nor John O'Donoghue, two prime candidates for the fifth spot in the rotation, pitched in the intrasquad games.

Telford has been bothered by a slight muscle pull in the back.

O'Donoghue is one of several Orioles, including Hoiles and Reynolds, who have been fighting the flu.

Davis also among missing

Glenn Davis also was missing from the lineup for the intrasquad games. Oates continued to maintain he had no timetable for Davis to play in preseason games.

"It could be the middle of the month," said Oates. "There's nothing wrong with him, but I told him I want him ready to play April 5, not March 5. When he tells me he's ready, I'll put him in the lineup."

Five to pitch today

Jamie Moyer, Mike Cook, Brad Pennington and Alan Mills are scheduled to follow Rick Sutcliffe on the mound in today's game against the Pirates. Left-hander Randy Tomlin was listed as Pittsburgh's starter.

Mussina, Mike Flanagan, Williamson, Todd Frohwirth and Olson will pitch against St. Louis tomorrow, with Ben McDonald, Steve Searcy, Jim Poole and possibly Telford pitching on Sunday against the Cardinals.

Hulett catching on

Tim Hulett made brief appearances as a catcher in both intrasquad games, and Oates was satisfied with what he saw.

"Right now, all I'm looking for is a guy who can receive the ball," said Oates. "I'm comfortable with him in that regard, but I've told him not to be satisfied just to be a third catcher to be used only in an emergency.

"What he should do is work to make himself another Jamie Quirk and extend his career a few years," said Oates.

McLemore shows right stuff

Another utility player who impressed Oates at a new position was Mark McLemore, who handled four chances in right field without incident.

McLemore's toughest play came when he collided with Sherman Obando at first base. "He was a little dizzy," said Oates.

"I told him the only way he could stay in the game was if he stole second base," said Oates. "He said 'I got it.' "

McLemore stayed in the game and had a single, RBI and run scored.


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