Loewen goes on DL with ailing left elbow

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Notebook

April 26, 2008|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN REPORTER

CHICAGO -- Orioles starting pitcher Adam Loewen was scheduled to return to Baltimore this weekend to have his ailing left elbow looked at by team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens.

Orioles manager Dave Trembley said he knows little about the severity of the injury or whether it's related to the stress fracture in Loewen's left elbow that required surgery last June. He also declined to name Loewen's replacement in the starting rotation.

Loewen, who was 0-1 with a 7.85 ERA through four starts, complained of forearm soreness after giving up five earned runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Seattle Mariners on Thursday.

He was placed on the 15-day disabled list yesterday with what was called left elbow soreness, and the contract of middle infielder Eider Torres was purchased from Triple-A Norfolk. Torres, a 25-year-old who had never been in the majors before joining the Orioles here last night, was batting .338 in 18 games for Norfolk.

Trembley said he isn't sure how Torres will be used yet, but he was more ready for the call-up then Alex Cintron, who is still recovering from elbow surgery, and Scott Moore, whom the club wants to get regular at-bats. Torres could be in for a short stay in the majors if the Orioles call up a pitcher from Norfolk - Garrett Olson would be the likely candidate - to take Loewen's spot. Loewen was scheduled to pitch Tuesday.

"There's a couple of possibilities," said Trembley, whose internal options are long relievers Matt Albers and Jim Johnson. "One is going to Triple-A and getting a guy, one is starting a guy here out of the bullpen and [then] filling a bullpen slot here. I'm not going to make that decision until probably Sunday."

This week, Trembley said he would have no problem giving Albers another spot start, but he felt he was too valuable to the bullpen to put the right-hander in the rotation long-term.

A lot of it could depend on how long Loewen is out. He was visibly distraught after his start but said he didn't think the pain was anything serious.

"I think he's probably to the point where he's really frustrated," Trembley said. "There's a reason why his command was the way it was. I've heard his quotes about the rust, but the rust for me couldn't have been the sole reason he was having command problems. It had to be something other than that."

Fired up

An already wild game Thursday in Seattle got even crazier when two fans jumped over the center-field wall at Safeco Field and ran onto the field while Orioles reliever George Sherrill was warming up before the bottom of the ninth inning. One of the fans ran behind Jay Payton and waved his hands, but didn't make contact with the Orioles left fielder.

"I'm not that guy you sneak up on and scare," Payton said. "If the guy would have bumped me or ran into me, then yeah, it could have gotten real ugly. And it would have been even uglier for him because our bullpen was right there."

Trembley yelled at both fans as they were being led away in handcuffs past the Orioles dugout, and he was still angry about the incident yesterday.

"That's embarrassing to baseball," Trembley said. "I'm a big proponent of respect, and that's probably the epitome of disrespect when two idiots run out on the field like that. And what really bothered me is that they come up from behind two of my players, which ought to tell you a little about their backbone. Weak. Very weak. ... I wish I could have taken them in the back room. I would have kicked the snot out of both of them."

Walker not worried

The two-run, game-tying home run that Orioles reliever Jamie Walker surrendered in the seventh inning to Ichiro Suzuki on Thursday marked the third time in Walker's past six outings that he has served up a late-inning, game-tying home run.

"I hung a pitch," Walker said. "I made one bad pitch out of the eight or nine pitches I [threw]. That's the life of a reliever. You can't take it back. I wish I could. Those situations, the worse thing you can do is make a bad pitch, and I did it. Late in the game, it seems that every pitch that you do make that is bad comes back to haunt you."

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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