Already proven to be a quick healer, reliever Jason Grimsley will take the next step toward rejoining the Baltimore Orioles' bullpen when he begins a minor league assignment on Sunday with Class AA Bowie.

"A lot of people blew me off for this year," said Grimsley, who had elbow ligament replacement surgery eight months ago. "I had other ideas."

Pitching coach Ray Miller predicted Grimsley would probably spend 10 to 12 days with Bowie and hoped the pitcher would make at least five appearances.

"Right now he's ahead of schedule," Manager Lee Mazzilli said. "We're still being a little cautious."

Grimsley threw for 16 minutes on Thursday and reported no pain.

"He looks great," Miller said. "He had a better slider than he had last year."

Grimsley chuckled at hearing Miller's comments. Because of the pain in the elbow, Grimsley had used his slider only sparingly in the past two years.

"I threw only two all of last year," Grimsley said.

Matos Caught

Mazzilli still appeared upset a day after Luis Matos's attempted steal in Wednesday's 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays. With no outs and Miguel Tejada at the plate, Matos was caught stealing. Two pitches later, Tejada lined a double to left. Mazzilli did not agree with Matos's decision to try to steal. The team had not ordered him to do so.

"There was a little miscommunication," Mazzilli said. "Let's leave it at that."

Baltimore has not had much success on the bases recently. After being successful in 27 of their first 31 attempts, the Orioles have stolen only 15 bases in their past 47 games and have been caught 10 times in that span. . . .

Third baseman Melvin Mora (hamstring) likely will not go on the disabled list and could play in this weekend's series against the Atlanta Braves.

"Maybe in a couple of days I'll be 100 percent," Mora said.