Groin injury may make Alomar miss Mets Off-season surgery on shoulder possible

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Second baseman Roberto Alomar could miss this weekend's series against the New York Mets as well as today's game against the Kansas City Royals after aggravating a strained right groin muscle Tuesday night. In addition, Alomar may undergo off-season surgery on his left shoulder to address a condition that has prevented him from batting right-handed during the season's second half.

Alomar received prolonged treatment before last night's game. However, manager Davey Johnson had penciled in Aaron Ledesma's name at second base before Alomar arrived at the clubhouse. "I'm not ready," Alomar said. "I'm going to have to take more time to heal."

No one knows how long. Alomar, however, says his situation is more severe than day-to-day. "The way the team is playing right now, it's playing real good baseball. There's no reason for me not to heal. I don't want to go backward. I want to go forward."

In the lineup for the first time since suffering the groin-muscle strain July 29, Alomar played only five innings before having to leave Tuesday's game. Alomar said he experienced tightness in the area after fielding a grounder by Bip Roberts in the top of the inning.

Now unsure of Alomar's prognosis, Johnson said after Tuesday's game that Alomar had given every indication he was ready to play. However, Alomar acknowledged he entered the game without being entirely confident of his condition.

"Sometimes you feel good, but I knew I wasn't 100 percent," he said.

Alomar hasn't been 100 percent all season because a string of ankle, shoulder and groin problems. In 92 games, he is hitting .298 with 10 home runs and 43 RBIs. Even before the shoulder injury, he was laboring when hitting right-handed, batting .218 with no home runs, one extra-base hit and only two RBIs in 55 at-bats. He attempted to bat right-handed during his recent rehabilitation in Sarasota, Fla., but abandoned the effort after feeling further discomfort.

"After all this time it isn't that much better. I really don't know what is going to happen. I may have to [have surgery]," Alomar said. "I will get an MRI after the season."

The club sees no reason for getting an exploratory reading during the season. The process, which involves shooting dye into the affected area, requires several days of recuperation. As long as Alomar can play with the condition, surgery would not take place until after the season anyway.

Angelos, Anderson meet

Negotiations between owner Peter Angelos and Brady Anderson on a contract extension for the center fielder have revived. They met for about two hours after Tuesday night's game to lay the groundwork for further talks. Though an agreement is not imminent -- Anderson is seeking a four-year deal with a present-day value of $24 million while Angelos has suggested a $22 million package with deferred money -- the conversation at least restored momentum to what had become a stagnant situation.

Angelos remains committed to retaining Anderson, though the outfielder has increased his contract request since earlier this season.

Rotation switch aids Krivda

Johnson acknowledged that his decision not to start Scott Kamieniecki on three days' rest against the Florida Marlins next week was influenced by Rick Krivda's promising showing in Kansas City last week. The decision means Krivda will start the first game of the four-game series in New York against the Yankees on Sept. 4. It also means Mike Mussina will start today rather than on six days' rest Saturday.

Johnson's reshuffling also protects Kamieniecki from going on three days' rest for only the second time in his career. The first time came in the opener of an Aug. 19 doubleheader in Kansas City. Kamieniecki, who missed most of last season recovering from 1995 elbow surgery, had his shortest outing of the season -- 3 1/3 innings -- and allowed seven earned runs.

"Given what happened [last week] and given last year, I'd rather not put him into a situation that may make him uncomfortable," said Johnson. "Obviously, he probably hasn't been asked to do that too much in his career. Given our situation in the playoff picture, we've got a guy who didn't pitch at all last year and was in winter ball and has done a great job on regular rest. All of a sudden you bring him back on three days' rest."

Kamieniecki started on short rest out of necessity in Kansas City because of a doubleheader. "It was really a situation where we didn't have anybody else. This time we do," Johnson said.

After three troubled starts, Krivda (2-0, 7.13 ERA) pitched ably last week in Kansas City, allowing one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. Asked if the outing influenced his decision, Johnson said, "It helped that he got somebody out. It doesn't take a Rhodes scholar to figure that one out."

Swift pitches for Rochester

Pitcher Bill Swift, signed to a minor-league contract Tuesday, worked 1 2/3 innings of relief for the Orioles' Triple-A Rochester team last night, allowing two runs on one hit and two walks. He said he will throw again tomorrow night in Scranton, Pa. After that, he's expected to take up residence in the Orioles' bullpen once rosters expand Monday.

Reached in the Red Wings' clubhouse yesterday, Swift said he welcomes the chance to come to a "division-leading team like the Orioles, the way they've been playing." But he's not taking anything for granted.

"I'll just try to do what I can to make the team first, then try to help them stay in first place," he said.

Swift, 35, was released by the Colorado Rockies eight days ago after refusing to go on the disabled list, a place he has called home for much of his past four seasons because of elbow problems. He went on the DL twice with the San Francisco Giants in 1994 and twice with the Rockies the next year. He made just three starts last year and was 4-6 with a 6.34 ERA in 13 starts this season.

"I threw off the mound the other day and felt pretty good," he said. "Obviously, you want to throw strikes and work ahead. I think if my control's there, I'll be OK. That's all you worry about anytime you're off like this. Hopefully, I got it back."

The right-hander's best season was 1993, when he won 21 games with a 2.82 ERA for the Giants. He later signed a three-year, $13.1 million deal with the Rockies, who didn't get much of a return on their investment.

"Obviously, the injuries the last couple of years didn't help me along," he said. "I left on good terms. It was a situation where they needed the spot. They offered me the DL but I just couldn't do it, feeling healthy for the first time, really, in three years. I just pretty much asked them to release me so I could try to get on with somebody else."

Around the horn

Orioles pitchers took batting practice for the second straight day in preparation for next week's interleague series in Florida. Chili Davis' homer in the seventh inning was the 30th this season by a Royals DH, a club record. It was Davis' fourth homer in four games, tying a club record Pat Kelly, an outfielder with the Orioles from 1977 to 1980, visited the clubhouse before the game. "We didn't have the depth of this club, as far as relievers," said Kelly, an evangelist whose work took him to West Africa in January. "It's unbelievable what they've got here. It's just exciting, it really is. I know we've got a tough schedule coming up, but I'll take our chances any day against any team."

Pub Date: 8/28/97

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