Notes: Loewen greets teammates

Notes: Loewen greets teammates

SEATTLE -- Despite all appearances to the contrary, Adam Loewen is still months away from picking up a baseball.

Baltimore's rookie starter rejoined his teammates Monday at Safeco Field looking rested and refreshed and showing no signs of the recent surgery to repair a stress fracture in his pitching elbow. Loewen, a month removed from the operation, said that he's finally reached a crucial spot in his recovery.

"I just started running about two weeks ago, and I have full range of motion now in my arm," he said. "I go in about three times a week to downtown Vancouver and work out with one of the [Los Angeles] Lakers' trainers there. He works on my range of motion with me, and we do like a pool and leg workout after that. It's about two hours."

Loewen -- who resides in nearby Surrey, British Columbia -- was 2-0 with a 3.56 ERA when his season ended prematurely. He spent a few weeks with the Orioles after his operation but has been rehabbing at home for the last few weeks. As of now, the former first-round pick is unsure when he'll be able to start throwing again.

"Initially, before I even had surgery, they said it would be until October," he said. "But those were tentative plans. I have another doctor's appointment August 6, and we'll have some further information then."

Loewen will do strengthening exercises for the next few months and should be back to normal when the Orioles report to Spring Training in February. The southpaw initially tried to avoid the surgical procedure, but when the elbow didn't heal as quickly as Baltimore's doctors would've liked, he opted for the second course of action.

Now, with a screw inserted into the damaged joint, he can rest easy in knowing there's nothing more that can be done.

"I've been away for like two weeks now, so I get baseball withdrawal," he said. "It's definitely hard, [but] it does get easier every day. I've come to accept the fact that I won't pitch this year. I try to keep my mind off it as much as possible."

On track: The Orioles are nearly certain that Steve Trachsel will be back next weekend to claim his rotation slot, but they're taking their time as far as naming who he'll replace in the rotation. Baltimore has a choice of bumping one of two rookie southpaws -- Brian Burres or Garrett Olson -- but interim manager Dave Trembley will wait until the last moment.

"We don't have to make any decision until that Saturday when Trachsel is scheduled to pitch," Trembley said. "We have a few days to tip that around a little bit."

Burres spent a highly successful stint earlier this season as a long reliever, but Trembley said he'd rather avoid exposing Olson to that assignment. If the O's decide to bump Olson, he'd likely head back to Triple-A Norfolk.

"I think when you're dealing with young pitchers, and you put them in the bullpen, they are not used to getting up and sitting down," Trembley said. "It would be different if there was a set and scripted time when he was going to come in the game. If you can definitely say that somebody else is going to throw five innings and he'd be the first guy in after that -- kind of like what Oakland and Texas did a few years ago -- [it might make sense]. ... I don't know if he's ever pitched out of the bullpen and myself personally, I don't think it is a good idea at this point in time of his career."

Odds and ends: Scott Williamson has cleared waivers and has been given his outright release. The veteran reliever is now a free agent and is eligible to sign with any team that desires his services. ... Bruce Kison, who had been serving as Baltimore's bullpen coach since Trembley was elevated to the manager's chair, has left the team to do some scouting work.

For the time being, Kison has been replaced by batting practice pitcher Orlando Gomez.

"Kison is doing some advanced work ... to make sure all his coverage areas are done before the trade deadline," Trembley said. "Orlando Gomez is filling in out there in the bullpen for us. Orlando Gomez is serving as our interim coach."

Quotable: "He's got to pitch, whether it is here or back in Triple-A. To me, he's got to pitch every five days. You do what's right for him and you do what's right for the team -- and you do that in that order." -- Trembley on Olson

Coming up: The Orioles and Mariners will continue their series at 10:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday night, when rookie starter Jeremy Guthrie will be matched against Seattle phenom Felix Hernandez.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.