`Encouraged' Loewen awaits progress report


Lefty has 2nd set of tests on arm

Guthrie stays on a roll as a starter

May 25, 2007|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,Sun Reporter

Within the next two weeks, Orioles pitcher Adam Loewen will have a better idea when he might reclaim his spot in the rotation.

The left-hander says he is certain it will happen. He just wants to know how soon.

Loewen's left arm will soon be re-examined by team orthopedist Dr. Andrew Cosgarea, undergoing the same three tests again - a magnetic resonance imaging exam, a bone scan and a CT scan - and comparing the results to determine whether his stress fracture is healing properly.

"We'll see what has to be done from there and give me a better timeline," he said.

The Orioles remain confident that Loewen, who is 2-0 with a 3.56 ERA in six starts, will avoid having surgery. He was cleared three days ago to run and use cuff weights.

"That won't agitate it at all," he said.

"I'm encouraged by the way it feels. I don't have any problems whatsoever doing natural movements. I try to do as little as possible, obviously, and that might have something to do with it. I'm also encouraged by what we saw in the CT scan. It's a very small fracture that will most likely heal just fine."

Whether he pitches again in 2007 is a foregone conclusion to Loewen, the fourth overall pick in the 2002 draft out of British Columbia.

"Absolutely," he said. "There's no doubt about it."

The best-case scenario? "I'll tell you when we get those tests back in two weeks," he said.

Guthrie fills void again

Who says Jeremy Guthrie isn't a starting pitcher?

Pressed into a starting role by injuries to the Orioles' rotation, the former Cleveland Indian has stepped up. In fact, the two runs he allowed to the Toronto Blue Jays in the second inning last night matched the number Guthrie had given up in his previous three starts combined.

In those starts, Guthrie totaled 21 1/3 innings, allowing just the two earned runs and 13 hits. But he has been the recipient of some hard luck, going just 1-0 with two no decisions in those starts.

Last night was no different. A no-decision for seven strong innings after which he departed with a 4-3 lead. But Guthrie said he wasn't upset afterward.

"Definitely not," he said when asked about being frustrated. "There are a lot of things I try to do when I'm pitching. One of the most important is try to shut the team down after we score and put up a zero. Both times that we scored tonight I went out and gave up a run or two, so that can change momentum. I take that upon myself. I needed to come out and put up a zero in the seventh, and the whole game turns out different for us."

In his last start, Guthrie held the Washington Nationals to just one earned run and four hits, while striking out a career-high 10 in seven innings.

"He attacks the strike zone. You have to like that," Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said. "He throws strikes, he keeps the ball down. He mixes in his off-speed pitches enough to keep them off his heater."

Payton's place

Jay Payton was out of the lineup for the second straight game, though not for health reasons. He just got squeezed out again.

"That's the manager's decision," he said. "There's nothing wrong with me."

Perlozzo explained to Payton that he's trying to work out some sort of rotation in which certain players won't sit for more than one game. It's been tricky with Payton, Jay Gibbons, Aubrey Huff, Kevin Millar and Corey Patterson on the roster to fill four outfield-first base-DH roles.

"I got up today and spent two or three hours working on the next three days with Oakland, plus looking up who we were probably going to get with Kansas City, and try to make out six or seven lineups where everyone gets a day off and making it as fair as we possibly can," Perlozzo said.

"I explained that to Jay and he'll probably be in there the next five or six days in a row."


Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.