O's add 'comfort' with trio of arms

O's add 'comfort' with trio of arms

NEW YORK -- The Orioles added a trio of arms before their game at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, with David Hernandez, Troy Patton and Pedro Viola all in uniform as what is expected to be the club's last group of September callups.

Hernandez -- who had been on the 15-day disabled list since Aug. 6 with a left ankle sprain -- tossed a rehab outing for Double-A Bowie on Monday afternoon, giving up one hit in an inning of work, and he was excited to rejoin the team.

"Usually overnight, [my ankle] will stiffen up, but once I start getting up and moving around, it loosens up and I feel fine," Hernandez said of his injury, which is on his plant foot and sidelined him longer than originally anticipated. "I just tape it up now, just for more stability than anything."

Hernandez struck out all three batters he faced on Saturday, and manager Buck Showalter said he'd tried to stay away from using the right-hander on Tuesday, if possible. Viola is likely to get a few days off, considering he threw a season-high six innings on Monday in Bowie's season-finale loss to Richmond.

Viola struggled at Triple-A Norfolk, posting an 0-2 record and a 17.65 ERA in 8 2/3 innings before going down to Bowie. The lefty went 3-4 with a 3.59 ERA -- including 19 walks and 64 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings -- with the Baysox, and he will be making his first stint with the big league club this year.

Patton, a starter for Triple-A Norfolk, entered Tuesday on four days' rest and can be used immediately if the need arises. He will be used primarily as the O's long man, with Tuesday's recall marking his third stint with Baltimore this season.

"[I'm] both excited and surprised," said Patton, who wasn't informed of the news until after Norfolk's finale on Monday. "They gave me a month [at Triple-A], and they gave me a shot back up here. So it's good, and this time, I'm pretty sure I'll get to pitch. I mean, hopefully."

Patton has been in uniform for eight games but hasn't seen any Major League action this season. He went 8-11 with a 4.43 ERA in 25 starts for the Tides.

The new additions will help aid a bullpen that is temporarily without the services of Koji Uehara, who has tossed three consecutive games, and Michael Gonzalez, who was unavailable on Tuesday due to back tightness. Showalter has also said that he would like to be cautious with Jim Johnson, who has missed most of the season with right elbow inflammation and returned on Aug. 27.

"It kinds of gives us a little comfort area there," Showalter said of adding Patton, Viola and Hernandez. "You want to put people in position to have success and be healthy at the same time."

The Orioles are also anticipating shutting down several of their young arms in the coming weeks, and they could have reliever Rick VandenHurk make a few spot starts, increasing the need for extra arms. Barring an injury, Showalter confirmed that this will be the last of the Orioles' expected callups.