Bedard to test hamstring in bullpen session

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

It could determine whether pitcher makes next start

Hernandez off DL

Notebook

June 23, 2007|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,Sun Reporter

PHOENIX -- Orioles pitcher Erik Bedard will throw a side session in the visiting bullpen before tonight's game at Chase Field. If his left hamstring doesn't hurt or restrict his motion, he's likely to make his next start.

That's the optimistic view.

If Bedard experiences discomfort similar to the kind that forced him out of Thursday's start in San Diego after six innings, the Orioles could skip his next turn because they have an open date Monday.

That's the more pessimistic view.

And if the hamstring is really bad, the Orioles will have to put him on the 15-day disabled list, removing another starter from their rotation.

That's the worst-case scenario.

"We're assuming that he's going to be able to throw on the side [today]," interim manager Dave Trembley said, noting that yesterday was a rest day for Bedard since he had pitched the day before. "[Today] we're hoping he can throw on the side."

The Orioles already have lost starters Kris Benson, Jaret Wright, Adam Loewen and Hayden Penn for significant periods because of injuries. They'd like to avoid putting another one on the DL, but there's no way to calculate the odds until he throws.

"I don't know that," Trembley said. "If he can throw on the side tomorrow, he can take his regular turn. If he can't throw on the side tomorrow, then obviously he's got to be pushed back."

Hernandez off DL

The Orioles, meanwhile, activated catcher Ramon Hernandez from the 15-day disabled list and designated catcher Alberto Castillo for assignment. Hernandez hadn't played since June 6, when he bruised his groin during a game against the Seattle Mariners.

"I feel good," he said. "I'm ready to come out and play the game."

Hernandez opened the season on the disabled list because of a strained oblique muscle.

"I don't make it difficult anymore. If you're hurt, you're hurt," he said. "All you can do is rehab. I know myself and I know I tried everything I could to come back as soon as I could. I like to play every day, but when you get hurt, there's nothing you can do. No matter what you do, you've got to go through the days you need to recover. And you work harder and come back quickly."

Hernandez didn't seem overly concerned about regaining his timing at the plate after the layoff.

"I wasn't hitting much when I got hurt," he said, smiling. "We'll see. I'm working a lot with my swing. Hopefully, I can get my stroke back where I can see the ball a little bit better, let it get deeper a little bit more so I can drive the ball more. But that takes time."

Agent expects Mazzone back

Though pitching coach Leo Mazzone still hasn't broken his silence on this week's firing of his close friend, Sam Perlozzo, and the effect of his future employment with the Orioles, his agent said yesterday that he expects Mazzone to be back with the club next year.

"Leo is under contract for next year," Jack Reale said. "Sam was his best friend and he saw the way things went, but he likes the Orioles organization and that's really all there is to that."

Mazzone has one year remaining on the three-year contract he signed largely because of his relationship with Perlozzo.

Around the horn

The Orioles recalled Jon Knott from Triple-A Norfolk to replace injured shortstop Miguel Tejada on the roster. Knott batted .210 with eight homers and 20 RBIs in 43 games. He went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs in two April games with the Orioles. ... The Pittsburgh Pirates claimed Josh Phelps on waivers from the New York Yankees. The Orioles had lost Phelps in the Rule 5 draft and weren't going to claim him unless he passed through waivers so they could send him to the minors.

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.

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