BOSTON -- It's official. Rookie Jeffrey Hammonds has played in his last game of the 1993 season.
"Jeffrey's shut down," manager Johnny Oates said before last night's game. "He's through for the year, as far as baseball-related activities are concerned."
That cannot come as a great surprise to anyone who has been monitoring Hammonds' health the past few weeks. He did not accompany the Orioles on this nine-game road trip, staying behind to begin a rehabilitation program aimed at correcting the neck injury that has bothered him all season.
The problem has been diagnosed as a herniated disk, an injury that club officials hope responds well to physical therapy. The alternative is neck surgery, something no one even wants to think about yet.
"It's become a consensus that this thing will heal without surgery if he gets proper rest over the next few months," Oates said. "We've consulted with doctors on both coasts. They say they've seen this heal without surgery many times."
Hammonds began his rehabilitation program at Baltimore's Bennett Institute yesterday. He'll be re-examined after six weeks.
Cameron, Farrar to go
The Orioles will announce today the completion of the deal that brought veteran outfielder Lonnie Smith from the Pittsburgh Pirates to Baltimore in exchange for two minor-leaguers. Those two players are Double-A outfielder Stanton Cameron and pitcher Terry Farrar.
Cameron batted .276 with 21 home runs and 64 RBI for the Bowie Baysox. Farrar was 7-7 with a 3.45 ERA, also with the Baysox.
Though Cameron is considered a decent offensive prospect, the Orioles had enough depth to project that he would not be breaking into their outfield in the near future. Farrar has a 25-21 record in three minor-league seasons.
Mussina on schedule
Right-hander Mike Mussina skipped his between-start workout on Sunday to rest his stiff shoulder, but he remains on the schedule for tomorrow night's series finale against the Boston Red Sox.
Mussina left his last start early because of increasing stiffness in the general area of the injury that knocked him out of action from July 22 to Aug. 20, but he insists that it's nothing serious. The Orioles can only hope he's right, since his remaining starts could be critical to the club's AL East chances.
Oates not giving up on Olson
Oates continues to operate under the assumption that closer Gregg Olson will be lost for the rest of the season, but he has not entirely given up on the possibility of getting him back.
"I don't care if it's the last day," Oates said. "If he's ready the last afternoon, I'll use him if it helps us win a game . . . if he's healthy and it doesn't hurt him."