Orioles' Grimsley expects premature return from DL

Updated: June 17, 2005, 8:18 PM ET
Associated Press

BALTIMORE -- Orioles reliever Jason Grimsley told the team that he's ready to return from elbow ligament replacement surgery on Oct. 12, a procedure that was expected to keep the right-hander sidelined for most of the season.

"We're generally talking about 18 months before a guy's effective again, but he's a reliever and says he feels real, real good," Orioles executive vice president Jim Beattie said Friday. "Right now, we're just going on what Jason has told us."

Grimsley, 37, will work out for the club at Camden Yards on Saturday. If all goes well, he could begin a rehabilitation assignment in the minors in two weeks and come off the 60-day disabled list within a month.

"He's got to prove the health of his arm not just on the side, but in games," Beattie said. "Can he pitch in back-to-back games? Can he go three days in a row?"

Grimsley came to Baltimore last June in a trade that sent Denny Bautista to the Kansas City Royals. He went 2-4 with a 4.21 ERA in 41 games.

The Orioles never expected to see him this season, given that most pitchers need at least a year to recover from the complicated procedure.

"The bullpen session will tell us how fast we can proceed," Beattie said.

Baltimore manager Lee Mazzilli said, "He's way ahead of schedule according to the doctors, and we'll see tomorrow what he has. I don't think any of us were counting on him being back from the surgery this year."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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