Forearm strain might delay Millar's return

The Baltimore Sun

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. -- Still waiting to enjoy a healthy stretch this spring training, Orioles first baseman Kevin Millar said he might not return to the lineup until the end of the week because of a strained flexor muscle in his right forearm.

Millar, who bruised his left instep last week after fouling a ball off his foot, is wearing a patch on his forearm that releases medication into his system. The injury occurred last week while Millar took his final swing in batting practice in Jupiter.

"It's doable," he said, "but certain swings bring you to your knees."

"The main thing is it's March 12," he said. "If it was April 5, you'd be out there and roll with it. But you want to calm this thing down so it's not lingering."

Millar is 1-for-12 with a double and two RBIs in five exhibition games.

Shuey improving

Paul Shuey walked out of the trainer's room yesterday carrying his crutch in one hand and walking under his own power, another positive sign after the veteran reliever strained his right Achilles' tendon last week.

A magnetic resonance imaging test didn't reveal any tears.

"It was very good news," said Shuey, who hasn't pitched in the majors since 2003. "It seems to be healing pretty quick."

The Orioles remain hopeful that Shuey can begin throwing in two weeks. They still believe he could pitch for them at some point this season.

Roster trimmed

The Orioles didn't wait until the weekend to make their roster cuts, optioning pitcher Jim Johnson, outfielder Val Majewski and infielder Eider Torres to Triple-A Norfolk and reassigning pitcher Chris Waters, first baseman Brandon Sing, outfielder Luis Montanez and catcher Brian Bock to the minor league camp in Sarasota, Fla.

Manager Sam Perlozzo said Majewski seems to be returning to his previous form, when he was named the organization's minor league Player of the Year in 2004 before missing the next season with a shoulder injury.

"I told him he just needs to get at-bats and get it going," Perlozzo said.

Perlozzo also was impressed with Johnson, the organization's minor league Pitcher of the Year in 2005, who displayed a better breaking ball and worked at a quicker pace than when he made one emergency start for the Orioles last summer.

In another move, the Orioles released pitcher Jose Acevedo, who never reported to camp after being involved in a motorcycle accident in the Dominican Republic. And nonroster pitcher Victor Moreno left the team and returned home because of an illness in his family.

The subtractions leave the Orioles with 52 players in camp.

Around the horn

Former Oriole Larry Bigbie, who started in left field for the Los Angeles Dodgers and went 0-for-2 with a walk, began the day leading the Grapefruit League with 10 RBIs, including the game-winner Sunday against the Washington Nationals. He's 10-for-28 with two homers and 19 total bases. ... Reliever Danys Baez gave up his first run in four appearances.

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