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Shoulder tendinitis sends Daal to DL; Bauer gets recalled

Another member of the Orioles' pitching staff has gone on the disabled list.

Omar Daal, recently banished from the rotation, was found to have tendinitis in his left shoulder. The Orioles put him on the DL yesterday, retroactive to Saturday, and recalled Rick Bauer from Triple-A Ottawa.

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Daal had a magnetic resonance imaging test Wednesday when tightness in the shoulder didn't subside. He experienced some discomfort the day after throwing three innings in last Friday's 4-2, 17-inning loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, and it persisted enough for him to approach the training staff.

"At first I thought it was just the regular soreness like you get the day after you pitch," he said. "And it's not just pain. It's also tight. It hurt a little bit when I played long toss, and I decided to have it checked out.

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"When I heard it was tendinitis, that was better than if there was something really wrong."

Signed to a two-year, $7.5 million deal on Jan. 4, Daal will rest for at least seven days before throwing and working with cuff weights as part of his rehabilitation. "I'll see how it feels after that," he said.

"I can still pitch, but if I keep doing it, it might get worse. Sooner or later, you can get a tear."

Daal said he felt tightness in the shoulder earlier this year, "but nothing bad."

Manager Mike Hargrove removed Daal from the rotation after he went 4-9 with a 5.75 ERA in 15 starts. He then got the loss last Friday after allowing a three-run homer to Philadelphia's Jason Michaels in the 17th.

In his most recent start on June 23, Daal surrendered nine runs and 10 hits in 2 1/3 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays. He was 0-4 with an 11.15 ERA in four starts last month.

Bauer made three starts at Ottawa after the Orioles demoted him on June 14, going 1-1 with a 3.07 ERA in 14 2/3 innings. He went a season-high 5 2/3 innings Monday against Buffalo.

Bauer allowed six runs in his last seven innings with the Orioles. He returns to the bullpen but still aspires to be a starter.

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"I loved starting. It felt good, it felt natural," he said. "I got up to 100 pitches. The more I threw, the better I got. I've always loved starting and told everybody that, but I don't make decisions on what my role is. I just try to get people out."

Daal joins Willis Roberts on the disabled list. Roberts was moved there Sunday with a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

R. Rivera signed

Taking on a reclamation project, the Orioles have signed outfielder Ruben Rivera to a minor league contract. He'll report to Double-A Bowie tomorrow.

Rivera has spent parts of nine seasons in the majors, batting .216 with 64 home runs and 203 RBIs. He appeared in 31 games with the San Francisco Giants this year, batting .180 with two homers and four RBIs before they released him June 3.

Jim Beattie, the Orioles' executive vice president of baseball operations, said Rivera, 29, eventually will join Ottawa.

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"We'll let him play out the year, see how he plays at Triple-A and see what we have," Beattie said. "With the moves we've made and the injuries we've had, we need another bat at Triple-A, and he's a guy who has some upside. And it's a no-risk proposition."

In a Sports Illustrated poll taken in every major league clubhouse last month, Rivera was chosen as the player who does the least with the most amount of talent. He received 29.3 percent of the votes to finish ahead of Raul Mondesi (6.9). Rivera was the top choice in both leagues.

Once a top prospect of the New York Yankees, Rivera was traded to the San Diego Padres on May 30, 1997, for the rights to Japanese pitcher Hideki Irabu. He hit 23 homers for the Padres in 1999 but batted .195. The Orioles are his sixth organization.

The Yankees re-signed Rivera last year, but released him on May 12 after finding out that he was caught trying to steal a glove from Derek Jeter's locker with the intention of selling it. The Texas Rangers signed him three weeks later.

"It's part of the history," Beattie said. "It just takes time and the right behavior to outlive some of those things. I'm sure he's very aware of that.

"He's been in the big leagues since, so we're not the only club to have done this."

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Honor roll

David Crouthers and second baseman Mike Fontenot have been named the organization's Pitcher and Player of the Month, respectively, for June.

Crouthers, a third-round draft pick in 2001, went 2-0 with a 0.34 ERA, allowing nine hits in 26 1/3 innings at Frederick. Fontenot, the 19th overall selection in 2001 draft, batted .380 with seven doubles, two triples, three homers and 21 RBIs at Bowie.

Fontenot, infielder Ivanon Coffie and pitcher Brian Forystek were chosen to play in the Eastern League All-Star Game on July 16 in New Britain, Conn. Coffie, who joined the team on May 29, was batting .313 with five homers and 20 RBIs before last night. Forystek was 6-4 with a 2.82 ERA in 19 games.

Around the horn

Beattie said the Orioles have no interest in former Yankees prospect D'Angelo Jimenez, who was designated for assignment by the White Sox this week to make room for Roberto Alomar. Jimenez batted .255 with seven homers and 26 RBIs in 73 games. ... Pat Hentgen, scheduled to pitch tonight, has been skipped in the rotation and won't start until July 12. Hargrove didn't want Rodrigo Lopez, who would have opened the series in Seattle on Tuesday, to go a week between starts. ... Thelma Knobel, 90, threw out the first pitch last night. An avid Orioles fan, she insisted on being helped to her bed to watch a game three weeks ago while waiting for an ambulance after breaking her hip.


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