MONTREAL -- Constrained by a bruised bench, manager Ray Miller hinted strongly that Eric Davis will go on the disabled list before tomorrow's game against the Florida Marlins. Davis, however, may have a different idea.
"I'm not going on the disabled list. That's not my plan," Davis said after yesterday's 8-4 loss to the Montreal Expos. "Does it hurt? Yeah, it hurt. But it hurt before I got hit and nobody was talking about going on the disabled list then. Why talk about it now?"
Davis was struck on the right elbow by a pitch from New York Mets starter Rick Reed last Wednesday and had to be removed several innings later due to pain and swelling. Davis, who had batted .423 over his previous seven games, has worn a compression sleeve over the elbow for most of the season because of bone chips. He eventually will require surgery to alleviate the condition.
Davis said he would rather accept a second cortisone shot to his elbow than remain out of the lineup until July 10. The team believes the schedule makes putting Davis on the DL prudent. Because of today's day off and the upcoming All-Star break, Davis would miss only seven more games before returning. The Orioles already are missing Jeffrey Hammonds, on the DL since June 3 because of an irritated nerve.
Miller would have used Davis as a pinch runner in Saturday night's game for Harold Baines. However, Baines grounded into a double play, allowing Miller to sidestep a dicey decision. Had Davis appeared, the club would have been unable to put him on the disabled list retroactive to June 25, the day after he was hit by Reed. Able to swing and little else, Baines remains a health question because of a slight hamstring pull.
"If I use [Davis], that's two guys I lose for 15 days," Miller said. "I can't afford that."
The manager and assistant general manager Kevin Malone were to discuss the matter during last night's return flight.
Palmeiro hurting, too
First baseman Rafael Palmeiro has played more innings this season than any other Oriole, including Cal Ripken. For the first time his body has begun to show signs of wear. Palmeiro has been slowed by a sore calf muscle that visibly affected him Saturday night when he twice refrained from pushing for an extra base. Yesterday Palmeiro slugged his 23rd home run but was never asked to go from first to third.
"It bothers me sometimes. The biggest thing is keeping it loose," Palmeiro said. "But it's not keeping me from running. It's nothing really bad."
Palmeiro frequently can be seen stretching the area. He stole a base Saturday night, his fifth in 11 attempts this year, but chose not to test the leg on a single he might have stretched for a double. Palmeiro, who also singled yesterday, is batting .357 (40-for-112) in June with 11 home runs.
More time for Hoiles
Amazing what a few hits will do. Chris Hoiles received a rare pairing with Doug Drabek yesterday, which left him with consecutive starts. Lenny Webster had been paired with Drabek since spring training but Miller opted for the hot-hitting Hoiles upon Drabek's return from the disabled list. Hoiles entered yesterday hitting .625 for the road trip, .500 in his past seven games played and .340 for the month. In the past seven games his average rose from .197 to .245. Yesterday he was 0-for-3 with a walk. Webster, meanwhile, endured a 1-for-10 road trip and has seen his average dip to .248.
Miller, searching for base runners, might have noticed that Webster's .274 on-base percentage is last among players with more than 50 plate appearances.
Malone said he does not anticipate a trade for San Francisco middle reliever Julian Tavarez though the club has had repeated contacts with the NL West contender. General manager Pat Gillick and scout Don Welke attended the Giants' weekend series against Texas in a mission to sign players selected in the amateur draft. The Giants are looking for offensive help, and Joe Carter has been mentioned as a candidate.
"I don't see that going anywhere," Malone said. "We talked awhile ago, but it's not hot now. Not even warm, unfortunately."
Around the horn
The disastrous five-game, bilingual trip also was a rough one for team charters. In New York the Orioles endured an odyssey around Shea Stadium that ended only 90 minutes before Wednesday's game vs. the Mets. After Saturday's 3-1 loss, the team boarded the bus and hit a traffic jam coinciding with the end of a nearby fireworks display. (The jam couldn't have been game-related given the 11,556 attendance.) The four-mile trek to the hotel took more than an hour. For $1.85 (Canadian), the trip lasts 30 minutes. Drabek allowed two first-inning runs, bumping the team total to 65, second-most in the majors behind Detroit (76). Montreal is 5-1 against the Orioles, having won two of three last June at Camden Yards. There is no ticket jam for the Florida homestand. About 5,000 tickets are left for tomorrow, 7,200 for Wednesday and about 3,500 for Thursday afternoon.
Pub Date: 6/29/98