TORONTO -- Although Dave Trembley has declined to specify roles in the bullpen, the Orioles manager acknowledged prior to Friday's game that he would prefer to use Will Ohman as the team's closer, Jason Berken as a late-inning reliever and David Hernandez as a long man.
In the wake of recent injuries to de facto closer Alfredo Simon and reliever Koji Uehara -- in addition to closer Mike Gonzalez and setup man Jim Johnson -- Ohman has shifted from the role of lefty specialist to ninth-inning man. A non-roster invite who made the team out of Spring Training, Ohman hasn't allowed an earned run all year and has provided reliable relief for a beleaguered O's bullpen.
"When you've given up as many runs as we've given up late in the ball game I think it starts to limit or narrow what you feel your choices are," Trembley said.
While Ohman figures to get the majority of the team's save opportunities, Berken will move into more of a one-inning role in the later innings. Berken -- originally used as one of the team's long men -- has seen more time in pressurized scenarios. The right-hander has allowed just two runs in his last 11 appearances, a stretch of 21 1/3 innings.
Hernandez, who was taken out of the starting rotation last week, will be used in the long relief role.
"I think that is the way to go with Hernandez because he hasn't pitched out of the bullpen, he does have his pitch count up. For me he's a better guy right now to pitch in long relief," Trembley said. "And I think with what Berken has done, move him towards later in the game."