Rather than endure a thin roster for an extended period or risk worsening an injury, the Orioles placed third baseman Melvin Mora on the disabled list yesterday and recalled outfielder Jon Knott from Triple-A Norfolk.
Mora was diagnosed with a Grade 1 sprain in his left foot Friday after undergoing a magnetic resonance imaging and CT scan. He originally suffered the injury July 1 while sliding into Los Angeles Angels catcher Mike Napoli on a play at home plate and aggravated it during the first inning of Thursday night's game, when he left after one inning.
Asked Friday about his availability, Mora projected that he would miss at least a week, which made the Orioles' decision much easier.
"You don't want to play short-handed, and it gives Melvin an opportunity to get right," interim manager Dave Trembley said.
Mora is batting .265 with a team-leading 12 homers and 41 RBIs in 79 games. Chris Gomez again took his place at third base last night, and Aubrey Huff is expected to start there today.
Knott was in uniform last night after flying to Baltimore from Ottawa, where the Tides played Friday. He learned of his promotion, his third this season, after the game.
"I would expect that he would be here as a reserve," Trembley said. "I don't know what the matchups are when we go to Seattle or Oakland. If there's some left-handed starting pitching, he might get a start."
The Orioles considered bringing up J.R. House or Mike Cervenak, but neither is on the 40-man roster. Their offensive numbers are more impressive than Knott's, but they are regarded as below average defensively and wouldn't have a true position in the majors - though Knott struggled with a few fly balls in left field while making a start in Arizona.
Before last night, Knott appeared in three games with the Orioles, going 3-for-6 with a three-run homer, two walks and two strikeouts. He was hitting .231 with eight homers and 23 RBIs in 54 games at Norfolk.
Knott heated up with the weather. He batted .164 in April, .184 in May, .268 in June and .333 in nine July games.
O's take it slowly with Tejada
Shortstop Miguel Tejada will accompany the Orioles on their two-city West Coast trip that begins tomorrow in Seattle. He's expected to begin baseball-related activities, a program that will include hitting off a tee and soft tosses and taking ground balls.
Tejada said he wanted to swing a bat yesterday, but the Orioles are being cautious while his fractured left wrist heals.
"We're going to have to hold him back," Trembley said. "Tejada wants to speed the rehab process up, and there's a certain amount of stages he has to go through."
The Orioles are formulating a plan for Tejada. Head trainer Richie Bancells spoke to him Friday, and hitting coach Terry Crowley is waiting to find out exactly what Tejada is allowed to do.
Tejada will have the wrist X-rayed July 24. "Then, we go to Phase 2 of his program, depending on what it shows," Trembley said.
Olson gets encore vs. White Sox
Garrett Olson's second start with the Orioles today will bring back vivid reminders of his first, because he's facing the same team. But he's hoping to go a little further than his July 4 debut.
Trembley removed Olson with one out in the fifth inning and the Orioles leading the Chicago White Sox 6-2. Rob Bell replaced him and was credited with the win.
"I was kind of surprised, but before it happened, the catcher came out to talk to me and players slowed the game down, so I had a feeling something was going on because usually when that happens, they're getting somebody loose [in the bullpen]," Olson said.
"I wasn't too disappointed. I felt like I had done what I could to get the team to the fifth inning, and I was just happy to be part of the win."
Olson said he should be more at ease today. He's just not sure if this will be his last start with the Orioles, who could return him to Norfolk after activating Steve Trachsel from the disabled list.