"It's nothing I can't throw through," said Bergesen, who described his flat-ground session Sunday as very encouraging. "It's a little tender, a little sore. But we deal with that type of stuff all the time. I don't think it's going to be a big problem."
Bergesen's health is not the only question mark. He has had a very poor spring with a 5.82 ERA, 25 hits allowed and six walks over 17 innings. However, he has also had much more success in the big leagues than Tillman, going 15-17 with a 4.33 ERA in 49 outings over the past two seasons.
Perhaps Showalter tipped his hand a little bit as to the final starter competition when asked whether the rotation options had been narrowed down over the past 48 hours. He said, "That may be better defined back there on the back field today," where Bergesen was working his way through his flat-ground session.
The Orioles certainly hoped to have more options this late in spring. However, Justin Duchscherer was sidelined by recurring hip soreness and won't be ready to pitch in a big league game until late April. Other options, such as Rick VandenHurk and Ryan Drese, have had some discouraging spring starts. That Britton, 23, is even still in camp — he'll start Monday's penultimate Grapefruit League game — speaks to the problems the Orioles have had in finding another consistent starter.
Team officials desperately want to keep Britton in the minor leagues at least until late April, thereby ensuring that they won't use up a full year of his service time.
"We'll sit down and convene," said Showalter, who is expected to make another round of roster cuts Monday. "We'll talk about what our options are."