On the one-year anniversary of his return to the Orioles, Baltimore pitching coach Ray Miller said he "probably" won't be around to celebrate another anniversary unless Manager Lee Mazzilli comes back next season.
"I'd like to see Maz get a long-term contract and be set here for a while, and I'll stay and help him as long as I can," Miller said. "I think he's going to be a good one. I think he's got the right makeup, knowledge. One on one, he's great. He's patient with kids and he knows how to handle veterans. I'd like to see that happen, see some stability in Baltimore. And that will kind of dictate everything else."
The improvement under Miller has been obvious. Baltimore is 90-78 with Miller as the pitching coach. The pitching staff has a 4.26 ERA, the third-best in the American League during that time. Ten Orioles pitchers have an ERA under 4.00 with Miller as the pitching coach.
"Maz wanted me to come in and help get a program started, along with Flanny and [Peter] Angelos, to get the young guys headed in the right direction," he said. "That's what I planned to do, but I really got caught up with the young guys. And we're not that far away [from winning]. We've got a real good team. So I decided to come back, and I've been real happy with it so far this year. I just wish you could explain the injuries we've had. I think it's really a credit to Maz keeping this team afloat with all the people we've had down."
Chen May Miss Next Start
Trainer Richie Bancells said pitcher Bruce Chen is questionable for his start on Thursday against the Cleveland Indians. Chen, who hurt his left big toe in Saturday's loss to the Atlanta Braves, will attempt to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday. . . .
Eli Marrero, who was unavailable for Saturday's game because of a stiff back, pinch hit in the eighth inning. . . .
Rafael Palmeiro's home run to left field was his first to the opposite field since 2002.