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Orioles have pitching holes to fill

Orioles have pitching holes to fill

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CHICAGO -- The Orioles may have a hole or two in their pitching rotation, but they plan on waiting to patch them. Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said before Saturday's doubleheader that he has to get through the weekend before he can name a starter for Tuesday or Wednesday, both of which have schedule-related vacancies attached to them.

The first hole in the rotation is related to an injury to Adam Loewen, who went to the disabled list on Friday. Trembley had previously said that he was considering relievers Matt Albers and Jim Johnson, but he may need both on Saturday. Wednesday's hole is caused by Friday night's rainout and may involve a starter coming back on short rest.

There are several factors and several options at Trembley's disposal, but he has to wait to let them play out.

"I need to get through today and I was not going to make a decision until Monday on who was going to pitch on Tuesday," he said. "That's plenty of time to get a guy up if we we're going to get a guy from Triple-A. But the way things are going right now, if I have to use Johnson today [or] if I have to use Albers today -- if I have to use them through the weekend to help us win some of these games -- I will do that and then I'll worry about Tuesday and I'll worry about Wednesday later.

"That's as clear as I can put it and it won't change. I won't have an answer after the second game of the doubleheader today. I'll have to sit down with [pitching coach Rick Kranitz]. I'll have to lay out our options. I'll have to see who is available. I'll have to look at Triple-A and see when the last time they've pitched and then I'll have to talk to [president of baseball operations] Andy MacPhail. "

If the Orioles dipped down to Triple-A Norfolk, they'd likely promote right-hander Jon Leicester or southpaw Garrett Olson. Olson worked two innings and threw 41 pitches on Saturday night, which suggests he could throw again Tuesday. Trembley said Friday that if he promotes someone, he'd want them to make more than one start -- but he didn't tip his hand on Saturday.

Steve Trachsel and Brian Burres are both starting on Saturday, and Trembley said he wouldn't mind bringing one of them back on short rest to start on Wednesday. Right now, in fact, that appears to be one of his most palatable options.

"It would depend on what those guys did, specifically today. That's what you're looking at," he said of Burres and Trachsel. "Obviously, you'd have to use some common sense. I have to look down the road. I understand there is an interest from fans and everybody wants to know, but I can't give answers to things that I don't have answers for. And I don't like to speculate because I get myself in trouble when I change my mind. So I'd rather not change anything."

Strangely enough, this whole pitching shortage comes one day after the Orioles went to a 12-man pitching staff. Baltimore promoted infielder Eider Torres to take Loewen's roster spot, but Trembley said his staff should be OK.

"Everybody is well-rested. There are guys that haven't pitched in a while," he said. "Yesterday was basically a day off. I get back guys that probably were not going to be able to pitch last night. [Randor] Bierd probably was not going to be available to pitch last night. [Chad] Bradford probably was not available. Now, everybody with the rainout is available."

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

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