More tests say Loewen needs rest, not surgery

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Club interested in acquiring back-end-of-rotation pitchers

May 09, 2007|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,Sun Reporter

Another examination by team orthopedist Dr. Andrew Cosgarea has reinforced the Orioles' initial opinion that pitcher Adam Loewen won't need surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left elbow.

Loewen visited Cosgarea on Monday, and the results will be forwarded to at least one other specialist for further evaluation.

The Orioles believe Loewen will require eight weeks of rest before beginning a throwing program. They're hopeful he'll return toward the end of the season, perhaps by late August or early September. Surgery would have sidelined him the rest of the year.

"We feel better, after his tests that the right course of action is to not have surgery," club vice president Jim Duquette said. "Obviously, that's always dependent on the healing process, but everything seems to be, right now, like that's the direction we should go. We're also going to consult with a couple other doctors just to make sure. We don't have a final verdict on it yet.

"If there's a silver lining in the injury, it's that we caught it early enough."

Loewen went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Wednesday, but the Orioles transferred him to the 60-day DL on Monday.

Looking for pitchers

The Orioles continue to explore trade possibilities to strengthen their rotation, but Duquette said nothing is "pressing" at the moment.

Duquette said the Orioles have compiled a list of about 12 names for consideration, with "varying degrees of interest," and none who would be considered top-of-the-rotation guys. Though he wouldn't reveal any of them, it appears the Colorado Rockies' Byung-Hyun Kim and Josh Fogg aren't on it.

"We're talking back end of the rotation or a starter who might have been put in the bullpen someplace else, who might have fallen out of favor," Duquette said.

For now, it appears the Orioles want to give Jeremy Guthrie, who started last night, and Brian Burres another turn in the rotation before deciding if they need to make a move.

"Until you've got viable replacements, we have to assume they're going to stay in there," manager Sam Perlozzo said.

The Orioles are monitoring two pitchers at Triple-A Norfolk, Garrett Olson and Rob Bell.

Olson has rebounded from a poor start to allow only two runs and strike out 13 in his past two appearances covering 14 innings. He pitches again today.

Bell, who almost made the team out of spring training, has started twice since coming off the disabled list, allowing two runs in 11 innings.

"They're certainly in the mix," Duquette said.

Williamson decision soon

Eligible to come off the disabled list tomorrow, reliever Scott Williamson is waiting to find out what the Orioles have planned for him.

They most likely want to see how his arm responds after throwing two-plus innings at Double-A Bowie Monday. Williamson, making his fourth appearance in an injury rehabilitation game, started for the Baysox and allowed six runs and five hits.

"We'll probably make a decision on him in a couple of days," Perlozzo said. "He probably can't pitch for a couple of days anyway."

Overall, Williamson has allowed 10 runs and 11 hits in six innings, including stops at Single-A Delmarva and Frederick. He has walked two, struck out eight and hit two batters. Williamson said he has some soreness in his forearm after throwing 50 pitches at Bowie, but not in the right triceps tendon - the area that bothered him enough that the Orioles put him on the disabled list.

"That's really where you want it to be at. That's just from pitching," he said. "I actually feel a lot better than I thought I'd feel. It's definitely uplifting."

But it's no guarantee he'll be activated before the weekend.

"I'm sure they want to make sure I'm 100 percent before they send me back out there," he said. "They don't want anything being sore. But I'm sure Sam's happy to see that I can go multiple innings. I'm sure they'll have a little talk with me and see what I want to do and I'll see what they feel like I need to do, and what they want me to do, and we'll go from there."

Because he's in Baltimore, Williamson said he'll work on his mechanics with pitching coach Leo Mazzone.

"Get those situated and hopefully go from there," he said.

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

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