Rotation: 6 of one, half-dozen of O's?



August 27, 2008|By Dan Connolly | Dan Connolly,

Attempting to cobble together a starting rotation for the last month of the season, Orioles manager Dave Trembley said yesterday that he's looking at several options, including a six-man rotation.

"To be honest with you, we're getting into a situation now where we're taking it series by series," Trembley said.

He said he's not sure whether last night's starter, Brian Burres, just recalled from Triple-A Norfolk, will continue to start for the remainder of the season. He also wasn't sure about the extended role of left-hander Chris Waters, who is 2-1 with a 4.71 ERA since being recalled earlier this month. Or about the health of Daniel Cabrera, who has struggled mightily since the All-Star break and had a magnetic resonance imaging on his right elbow, results of which have not been released.

"I've thrown some things around with [pitching coach Rick Kranitz]. ... I might go to a six-man rotation in September. I may give some guys some more days off in between," Trembley said.

"We've got to take it a series at a time, and I really can't tell you what I'm going to do in the middle of September with Burres or Waters or who's coming up in September. We've got to take it as it goes. That's honest."

Burres, Cabrera and ace Jeremy Guthrie are the only members of 2008's original rotation still with the team. Veteran Steve Trachsel was released and left-hander Adam Loewen is attempting a comeback as a hitter after persistent elbow trouble.

Orioles starters have a 6.25 ERA in the first 37 games after the All-Star break, more than a full run higher than their 5.11 in the first half. Since mid-July, the starters have allowed 243 hits, 95 walks and 37 homers in 200 innings pitched, averaging just more than 5 1/3 innings per start.

No Tillman in September

Trembley said recalling right-hander Bradley Bergesen, 22, from Double-A Bowie this September has not been ruled out. But the club will not be promoting Chris Tillman, one of the jewels of February's Erik Bedard trade.

He is 9-4 with a 3.32 ERA in 26 starts at Bowie.

"We all love Tillman and everything, but let's remember Tillman is 20 years old and pitching in the Eastern League," Trembley said. "Tillman is a guy that needs more seasoning in the minor leagues."

Fans might not see him in Camden Yards for a year or more.

"I wouldn't look for Tillman to make the club out of spring training [in 2009]," Trembley said. "We're going to be very careful with that guy."

Sherrill plays catch

Closer George Sherrill (shoulder inflammation) played catch yesterday for the first time since going on the disabled list last week.

"I can feel something in there, but it's not painful," Sherrill said. "From how I feel and what the trainers are saying, if I stretched it out, it would go away. It's just one of those things in there that needs to work itself out."

He made 25 throws from 60 feet and hopes to play catch again today. He'd like to be back by the middle of next week.

Ripken Baseball acquires team

Ripken Baseball, in partnership with the Tampa Bay Rays, has purchased a Single-A team in Vero Beach, Fla., and will move it to Port Charlotte, Fla., the Rays' new spring training home, for 2009, according to a source familiar with the deal. An official announcement will be made today in Port Charlotte.

Ripken Baseball also owns the Aberdeen IronBirds and the Augusta GreenJackets.

Around the horn

The Orioles will hold a "Ravens Rally" before their 7:05 p.m. game on Sept. 6. The first 15,000 fans 15 and over will receive a Ravens Rally T-shirt, and Ravens permanent seat license holders can get $7 off any regularly priced ticket ... Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts will host his third annual Brian's Bash fund-raiser Sept. 14 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Inner Harbor ESPN Zone.


The Orioles' record in their past 15 one-run games after going 18-10 in their first 28 one-run games

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