O's Guthrie tweets from hospital: 'Still feeling crummy'

Rotation depth takes another hit; Opening Night starter could return for Sunday's game

April 05, 2011|By Dan Connolly, The Baltimore Sun

The Orioles keep losing starting pitchers while winning games.

The most recent casualty is Opening Night starter Jeremy Guthrie, who was expected to spend Monday night in the hospital and will miss his scheduled outing Wednesday because of what manager Buck Showalter called "a form of pneumonia."

"He will be out at last five to seven days," Showalter said. "We will see whether he is available on [April] 10th or not. We'll see. Just another challenge for us."

Guthrie, who recently started using Twitter, tweeted this morning from the hospital: "Still feeling pretty crummy this am. Thanks for all the thoughts & prayers. My wife & hospital staff are taking really good care of me!"

Brad Bergesen, who was put in the bullpen until the club needed a fifth starter Sunday against the Texas Rangers, instead will make Wednesday's start.

Guthrie didn't feel well Sunday when the Orioles finished their series against the Tampa Bay Rays, but the club thought he was improving.

"He started running a fever [Sunday]," Showalter said about Guthrie. "We thought we got it under control. Talking to him last night when we got here, he felt pretty good. But somewhere between that and today, his fever spiked back up."

He was at the hospital during the Orioles' home-opening festivities Monday afternoon, which Showalter said was alarming.

"For [Guthrie] not to make the introductions, he is pretty ill," Showalter said.

Guthrie turned in one of the better outings of his career in the season opener Friday, allowing just three hits and no runs through eight innings in the Orioles' 4-1 win against the Rays. Before that game, the club learned that its projected No. 2 starter, Brian Matusz, would be lost for roughly a month to a muscle strain in his back.

Matusz's status already had been questionable earlier in the week after he took a liner off his left biceps March 28. Three days before that, Bergesen had taken a line drive off his right forearm and was sidelined several days.

The club's only offseason rotation acquisition, Justin Duchscherer, threw just two spring innings because of soreness from a previous hip surgery. He also has been set back by back stiffness.

Still, the Orioles starting pitchers have allowed just two earned runs in 26 innings (0.69 ERA) in the club's first four games. Showalter said he couldn't have asked for more from Guthrie, Chris Tillman, Zach Britton and Jake Arrieta.

"You couldn't have, especially with some of the challenges that we've faced with Matusz and Duchscherer and a couple line drives off pitching arms toward the end of spring," Showalter said. "Now Bergy's going to have to pick up the slack for Guthrie on Wednesday."

Bergesen, who has made 47 starts for the Orioles in the past two seasons, said he is ready for the assignment.

"I'm comfortable with it. I knew all along that I was here to fill in if needed," Bergesen said. "When we got the bad news that Jeremy wasn't going to be able to make the start, I figured that I was going to get that call. It's upsetting that we've had two of our starters go down. Hopefully, Jeremy will be back with us soon."

Bergesen hasn't faced major leaguers since throwing four pitches March 25 versus the Minnesota Twins. Leadoff hitter Denard Span hit that fourth pitch off Bergesen's right forearm, causing a deep bruise but no other damage.

The Orioles are hoping to get at least four or five innings from Bergesen on Wednesday.

"For me, I'm just treating it like any other start, same mindset, same mentality," Bergesen said. "I'm going to mentally prepare the same way to keep us in the ballgame and try to get as deep as I can."

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

twitter.com/danconnollysun

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