Byrdak placed on disabled list

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Bone fragments found in elbow of lefty reliever

Majewski called up

April 19, 2006|By CHILDS WALKER | CHILDS WALKER,SUN REPORTER

Orioles reliever Tim Byrdak was placed on the disabled list after last night's 15-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians because X-rays revealed bone fragments in his throwing elbow.

Byrdak will have surgery Friday at Johns Hopkins Hospital and said he expects to be out at least six weeks. His injury left manager Sam Perlozzo without an obvious candidate to match up with left-handed batters in the late innings.

He could have turned to left-handed long reliever John Halama or right-hander Sendy Rleal, whose changeup is hard on left-handed hitters. With no left-hander on the verge of being promoted from the minors, the team recalled right-hander Eddy Rodriguez from Triple-A Ottawa.

"I just couldn't get to my release point," Byrdak said. "I felt it all along, and the X-rays confirmed that I had the two bone fragments. ... You want to pitch, to be up here with the guys. But I know there's something physically wrong. It's not like I'm going to be out that long."

Byrdak had lost several miles per hour off his fastball and posted an 18.00 ERA this season.

"I knew that wasn't me out there," Byrdak said. "If I get this taken care of, it will be a relief. I will get it back to where I was last year."

Halama, who pitched a scoreless ninth last night, is the lone left-hander in the bullpen but has been more effective against right-handers in recent seasons. That's why Perlozzo may turn to Rleal more often.

"I think he's good against left-handers ... if he's on, you know," he said of the rookie. "We're still grooming the kid out of Double-A so it's not like a slam-dunk all the time, but he's probably going to have to go in there and pitch a little bit in that situation."

Majewski recalled

The Orioles called up Triple-A outfielder Val Majewski to replace the injured David Newhan yesterday. But he may not be up to stay.

"Nothing's really permanent," Perlozzo said. "He may stay, he may not stay. We'll look at it over the next two days and see what the best decision is for us."

Newhan had been starting in the outfield and batting second. He broke his right leg Monday when he caught his foot on second base while stealing. The outfield picture is further clouded because Luis Matos' right shoulder is sore.

Perlozzo said Matos is not a candidate for the disabled list but said shoulder soreness has diminished his throwing arm and reduced his playing time.

Perlozzo said Majewski will be a bench player. Corey Patterson will start more to replace Newhan's speed.

"When David got in and he used his speed, something good always seemed to happen for us," the manager said. "We'll start getting Corey in there a little bit more and see if he can't get on a little bit of a roll."

Majewski was considered the best hitting prospect at Triple-A Ottawa, but he opened the season in a slump.

"Obviously, if you're hitting .138, you don't expect to be called up," he said. "But I'm happy to be here again and I just hope to make the most of my opportunities if I do get a chance to get in there."

Majewski missed all of last season after having surgery on his left shoulder during spring training.

"It's not as strong as it once was but I'm throwing pain-free and that's all I could ask for," Majewski said. "If I have to sacrifice a little arm strength to get rid of the pain, I'm more than happy about that."

Jeff Fiorentino and recent pickup Luis Terrero are other possible call-ups if Majewski falters.

Williams throws

On the brighter side of bullpen affairs, Todd Williams threw a side session for Perlozzo and Leo Mazzone.

"He looked good," Mazzone said. "He'll be all right."

Williams will throw in minor league games on Thursday and Sunday. But the veteran right-hander, who is recovering from shoulder and calf soreness, was reluctant to predict when he might return.

"I've tried to guess since spring training started and I've been wrong every time so I don't want to jinx it," he said.

When asked how he's feeling, he said, "Health-wise, good. I'm just not happy with the way I'm throwing. I think I'm just trying to push my velocity to get back instead of letting it come, and I just know myself I'm not where I've got to be. ... It's a pitching thing, not a health thing."

childs.walker@baltsun.com

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