Notes: Raffy not out of woods

Notes: Raffy not out of woods

BALTIMORE -- As Rafael Palmeiro attempts to return to normalcy, he continues to have to defend or reserve comment on various reports regarding his steroid use or his legacy in baseball.

According to's Bill Ladson, Nationals manager Frank Robinson was the latest Hall of Famer to offer an opinion on Palmeiro, and it was scathing. Robinson told Ladson on Tuesday that Palmeiro's records should be eliminated from the record books.

"I would," Robinson said when asked whether he would wipe out Palmeiro's statistics. "Where do you go back, stop and say, 'OK, when did he started using steroids?' To eliminate all that, and get the players' attention, you wipe the whole thing out."

Before Wednesday's game with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the first game Palmeiro was slated to start at first since his return from a 10-day suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, Palmeiro was asked about Robinson's comments. Robinson was the Orioles' assistant general manager when the Orioles signed Palmeiro in 1994, and he had coveted his work ethic and non-nonsense style.

"I haven't heard [the comments]," Palmeiro said. "I don't know what he said. I really don't want to get into it. I respect Frank. He's entitled to his opinion, but I am not going to comment on that."

Orioles interim manager Sam Perlozzo also reserved comment.

"I really don't have any [thoughts] on that, really," he said. "That's for people other than myself to comment on. I really don't have anything to say about that. That's not for me to determine. It just isn't."

Palmeiro arrived for the team picture Wednesday knowing he would be the Orioles' starting first baseman for the first time since July 31.

His right ankle is not 100 percent and his swing is creaky, but he is glad to be back in the lineup.

"I feel pretty good," he said. "I am not 100 percent, but I feel good enough to go out there and play and be productive."

When asked whether he wants to be an everyday player again, he said: "I hope so. I don't see anything unless something happens. But I want to be out there every day now."

Ponson out three weeks: An MRI on Sidney Ponson's right thumb revealed a torn ligament, and he will miss a minimum of three weeks. Ponson, who had been on the disabled list with a strained right calf, began experiencing discomfort with his right thumb last week. Ponson was struck on the right thumb by a Sandy Alomar Jr. liner July 28.

Ponson returned to the mound on Aug. 7 but strained the calf covering first base in the third inning.

Roster moves: The Orioles placed right-handed reliever Jason Grimsley on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left Achilles tendon to make room for James Baldwin, who was claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers on Monday.

Baldwin spent two months with the Orioles compiling a 1.61 ERA in 12 appearances. Because of a numbers crunch, he was designated for assignment and claimed by the Rangers. He had a 5.61 ERA with the Rangers before the club decided to go with younger players.

"I feel like this is home for me," Baldwin said of Baltimore. "I was very comfortable, and there's a good bunch of guys here. You don't burn any bridges in this game because you never know what can happen."

Meanwhile, the club activated utility man B.J. Surhoff from the disabled list and optioned first baseman Alejandro Freire to Double-A Bowie. Executive vice president Jim Beattie said Freire will back in 10 days -- the minimum time he can spend in the Minors -- to add depth to the infield.

Grimsley, who was 1-1 with a 7.98 ERA in 14 games, said the Achilles tendon injury prevented him from running. The right-hander had allowed runs in his nine of his 14 appearances and appeared to be not fully recovered from October Tommy John surgery.

"It's been a while, one of those nagging things," he said of the leg. "I can't really run. I don't know. It's been nagging me. I don't know if it's affecting me, but I can't run. ... I have trouble pushing off, anyway."

Grimsley does not have a left big toe because of a childhood accident.

Coming up: The Orioles face the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the finale of a three-game series at Camden Yards on Thursday. Rodrigo Lopez (12-7, 4.81 ERA) is 4-1 with a 1.99 ERA lifetime against the Angels. He'll go against John Lackey (10-4, 3.66 ERA).

Gary Washburn is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.