TORONTO -- Able to throw all of his pitches with no traces of pain in his surgically repaired right elbow, Orioles reliever Jason Grimsley will report to Double-A Bowie on Sunday as part of his injury rehabilitation assignment.
Pitching coach Ray Miller estimated that Grimsley, who underwent ligament-reconstructive surgery on Oct. 12, will stay with the Baysox for 10 to 12 days before possibly rejoining the Orioles. Miller wants him to throw a minimum of five innings over five games.
"He doesn't need to throw more than an inning in five appearances," Miller said. "He should be ready to go. That's what he's done his whole life."
Said Grimsley: "If things keep progressing, it shouldn't be that long."
After monitoring Grimsley's bullpen session yesterday, Miller said the right-hander threw a better slider than he showed last season.
"Considering I only threw two all of last year, yeah, it was better," Grimsley said. Grimsley aired it out for 15 minutes, impressing Miller with his velocity and command.
"He worked hitters inside, outside, had a real good sinker, a real good breaking ball. I'm excited," Miller said.
"He did a hell of a job for me last year, and I'm seeing better than I saw last year when I worked with him."
Grimsley, 37, was throwing just about every day back home in Kansas City, almost daring the elbow to blow out again. When it didn't, he knew he was ready to make a comeback.
"I think [Ryan] Dempster did it in 10 months," he said. "When it [ligament-reconstructive surgery] was first done, it was two years, then 18 months, then 12 months, now it's down to a matter of weeks. The surgeries are getting better, the athletes are getting better, the rehabs are getting better."
Grimsley, acquired from the Kansas City Royals on June 21, 2004, for minor league pitcher Denny Bautista, was a combined 5-7 last year with a 3.86 ERA in 73 games.
Mora feeling better
Progress is coming slowly to Melvin Mora. But at least it's coming.
The Orioles third baseman said his strained right hamstring felt better yesterday than it did Wednesday, and it's becoming more likely that he'll avoid a trip to the disabled list.
"I don't think I'll go on the DL," he said. "I'm able to stretch my leg now. Maybe in a couple more days I can be 100 percent."
Mora said the leg "hurt a little bit" while doing some light stretching exercises yesterday. He continues to receive ultrasound treatments and apply ice to the hamstring area.
The injury occurred in the eighth inning of Tuesday's game, as Mora was running out a ground ball. He pulled up short of first base and limped to the dugout.
Still unavailable last night, Mora could miss the three-game interleague series in Atlanta that begins tonight, leaving the Orioles with a 24-man roster and short on late-inning moves.
Asked if he could be in one of the lineups this weekend, Mora said, "I don't know, but I want to be there."
Rather than stew over a balk call on Daniel Cabrera that delivered the go-ahead run in the fifth inning of Wednesday's 3-2 loss, manager Lee Mazzilli was more irritated by Luis Matos' decision to run in the eighth after being hit by a pitch.
Matos broke for second with a 2-0 count on Miguel Tejada and was thrown out. Tejada followed with a double, but the Orioles never tied the game.
Matos, who wasn't in last night's lineup because Mazzilli wanted another left-handed bat, has the green light to run and went on his own.
"It was just a little miscommunication," Mazzilli said.