Bergesen Is Healing But Unsure Of Return

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Notebook

No Schedule Set For Rehab Of Rookie Starter's Shin Injury

August 11, 2009|By Dan Connolly | Dan Connolly,dan.connolly@baltsun.com

Brad Bergesen is off crutches and throwing on flat ground, but he's not sure when he'll be back on the mound in a big league game.

The 23-year-old rookie right-hander, who has emerged as the Orioles' most reliable starter, hasn't thrown a pitch since the Kansas City Royals' Billy Butler hit a vicious line drive off his left shin in the seventh inning July 30.

He went on the disabled list the next day with a leg contusion and was hobbling around on crutches until about five days ago. His limp is gone, but Bergesen said the shin is still tender when he lands a certain way.

"It's kind of like a catching sensation I am getting," said Bergesen, who is 7-5 with a 3.43 ERA in 14 starts this season. "All of a sudden, I will step on it wrong or I'll do something, overexerting it, and it will just kind of give out."

He said he still felt some pain while playing catch Monday but assumes that if it subsides he'll be able to throw from a mound "in five or six days."

It's likely he'll then go on a minor league rehabilitation assignment for at least one outing.

"The good thing is it wasn't an arm injury, it wasn't something they had to repair, so hopefully it won't take me very long to get it back," Bergesen said.

Orioles manager Dave Trembley said the club has not devised a schedule for Bergesen's rehab or return.

"I can't tell you that until I get him up on a mound and see where he's at," Trembley said.

The layoff has been killing Bergesen, who called it "terrible. The whole week was just miserable."

It's unfortunate timing because tonight's promotional T-Shirt Tuesday features Bergesen's No. 35.

"Mom's still coming out for that one," he said.

Serving up, but not homering

The Orioles headed into Monday night having yielded more homers (141) than any other American League team. To make things worse, the club was fourth worst in the league in hitting homers and hadn't gone deep since Adam Jones' ninth-inning blast Wednesday in Detroit, a span of 38 innings.

Entering Monday, opponents had out-homered the Orioles 35-19 in the second half.

"We have given up far too many. But maybe now that it is warming up, maybe we'll hit our share," Trembley said. "I really don't have a reason for it, but I know the home run ball has hurt."

Although Jeremy Guthrie has allowed more homers than any other AL pitcher, Trembley thinks a primary reason for the Orioles' propensity to give up the long ball is the number of young pitchers on the team who are learning on the job.

"I think that is probably most of it," Trembley said. "You saw Toronto [on Sunday] against [Brian] Matusz. They just waited him out. They just sat there and waited him out and forced him to throw the ball in the middle of the plate. Experienced hitters do that."

Tillman expects to make start

Chris Tillman, who experienced tightness in his groin during Saturday's start at Toronto, said he's still a little sore but doesn't believe Friday's outing is in jeopardy.

"I am 100 percent sure I'll be making my start as of now," Tillman said. "I have a bullpen [session Tuesday], so we'll see how that goes."

Tillman was sidelined with a groin injury at Triple-A Norfolk this year but said there is no comparison in the severity of the injuries.

"Not even close; the one at Triple-A was so much worse," Tillman said. "This one was a like a freak thing. I was sitting on the bench and all of the sudden it was like, 'Ooh.' I don't know if I was dehydrated or cramped up, I don't know what it was."

Around the horn

The Orioles saw three minor leaguers receive honors Monday. Norfolk first baseman Brandon Snyder was named International League Player of the Week for hitting .500 (12-for-24) with five multi-hit games. Double-A Bowie pitcher Brandon Erbe (McDonogh) won Eastern League Pitcher of the Week after throwing eight hitless innings Thursday. Single-A Frederick's Robbie Widlansky was named Carolina League Player of the Week after hitting .586 (17-for-29). ... Pitcher Koji Uehara (right elbow) was examined by team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens, and the club expects him to begin a throwing program sometime next week. ... Second baseman Brian Roberts, who was removed from Saturday's game after fouling a ball off his left shin, was back in the starting lineup Monday.

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