Baltimore Orioles pitcher Mike Boddicker was placed on the 15-day disabled list this afternoon after tearing a ligament on the middle finger of his pitching hand Saturday night.

The injury is not a common one. Boddicker apparently suffered it as he released a pitch to Texas' Scott Fletcher in a 10-4 victory over the Rangers. Fletcher flied out to right field for the third out. Boddicker had the finger examined between innings and was told he could continue if the pain would allow him to.

He tried, facing five hitters in the sixth and allowing three singles and a walk before leaving the game.

The Orioles are expected to replace Boddicker on their roster with third baseman Floyd Rayford, who might make his 1986 debut Monday in Cleveland. Rayford has been on the disabled list with a chipped bone in his left thumb.

Boddicker usually pitches with pain in his right elbow that ranges from "pretty bad" to "very bad" and he pitched with a sore left knee the last month of 1985.

"This is the first time I've ever gone on the disabled list in my life," he said, "and for this?"

Boddicker called the pitch "the ultimate slider, the kind you want to end your career with."

He will wear a splint for about 10 days, but will start exercising the finger in about five days. He will travel with the Orioles, doing his running and regular arm exercises, and will be eligible to be activated May 5.

Without Boddicker -- off to a 2-0 start with a 3.38 ERA in a team-high 21 1/3 innings -- Manager Earl Weaver will drop from a five-man to a four-man pitching rotation.