Outfielder David Newhan fractured his right leg last night when he caught his ankle on second base after stealing in the first inning.
Newhan, who has started eight of the past nine games, hobbled off with help from Orioles trainers. He fractured the fibula, a small bone on the outside of the lower leg.
"Well, obviously you know, it's a disappointment," Newhan said. "I'll roll with it. It doesn't mean I'll sit here and be down about it, and uh, start bawling or getting my attitude all down. I just got to keep my head up."
Although it isn't known how long he'll be out, he said he hopes to be out no more than six to eight weeks.
Manager Sam Perlozzo said the club won't know the extent of Newhan's injury until he has surgery. A team spokesman said that procedure will occur Thursday at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Newhan said he may know more after seeing a specialist today.
"You hate to see that because he's been doing really well for us," Perlozzo said.
Newhan was no sure thing to make the team going into spring training, but he showed up in tremendous condition and lashed line drives all over the field in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He had become a fixture in the No. 2 spot, using his speed to spark several rallies in the first two weeks. He was batting .265 with two home runs and seven RBIs going into last night.
With Luis Matos, Corey Patterson, Kevin Millar and Jeff Conine on hand, the club has plenty of outfield options. Perlozzo said the club will probably call up another outfielder to replace Newhan. One option is Val Majewski, who is at Triple-A Ottawa.
Byrdak's elbow ailing
The Orioles' bullpen continued to give Perlozzo mixed signals over the weekend. Chris Ray has looked terrific and Sendy Rleal recovered from his first bad outing to throw two solid innings Sunday.
But in the same game, Tim Byrdak gave up four runs to raise his season ERA to 18.00. Byrdak has allowed four hits, five walks and two home runs in three innings.
Byrdak revealed yesterday that he has been pitching with discomfort in his left elbow since spring training and can't fully extend his arm. X-rays haven't revealed the nature of the problem, so he will have a CT scan today.
Perlozzo said Byrdak is unavailable for now.
The manager described Byrdak's pitching problems after Sunday's game.
"He throws his fastball and he leaves it right in the middle of the plate and it's not moving," he said. "In the spring, he was pounding the outer half of the plate pretty good for us and using his changeup. [But] he's really not getting his breaking ball, either. Really, kind of the whole package needs to get better. We've seen him do it a lot in the spring and he did it a lot for us last year."
Perlozzo had hoped the left-hander could be a bridge between his starters and his late-inning specialists. Byrdak pitched well in the role last season.
He did a good job keeping the ball in the park last season, allowing one homer in 26 2/3 innings. But home runs have been at the heart of both big innings he has endured this season.
Williams to throw
The Orioles hope Todd Williams, still recovering from shoulder and calf injuries, will bring some stability to the bullpen.
Williams threw two innings of a simulated game Sunday in Sarasota, Fla., and will be in Baltimore today so team officials can watch him throw on the side.
"We'd like to see him with our own eyes," Perlozzo said. "Any number of things could happen after we watch him."
The manager said Williams could stay in Baltimore for his next side session or be dispatched for a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
Utility player Chris Gomez started at first base last night. Perlozzo has been looking for a way to get Gomez into the lineup and said that with everyday starters at second, third and shortstop, first was the logical place.
Gomez was a shortstop for most of his career but played 42 games at first last season. firstname.lastname@example.org