Those moves were made in response to a pitching pinch on Wednesday, when Brian Burres was scratched from his scheduled start with a stomach ailment and Albers came up lame after facing just five batters. Baltimore had to get through 8 2/3 innings with its bullpen, necessitating the move regardless of whether Albers gets a passing grade on his medical exams.
"Albers is going to get an MRI tomorrow, so that's all I know right now," manager Dave Trembley said Thursday. "But I would say that he's going to miss some time. Burres feels better today. We'll see how he does out here during batting practice, and if he's OK, we'll put him out in the 'pen and see if he'll be available for a couple innings and still be on his next start."
Albers declined comment on Thursday, preferring to wait until after he sees a physician. And on Wednesday night, he refused to clarify what kind of pain he was feeling, opting instead to use the generic term "discomfort." Burres, meanwhile, said he felt much better on Thursday and would likely be available out of the bullpen if the team needed him.
"I'm going to talk to Dave, but I think I can pitch," said Burres, who will start again Monday. "I feel 10 times better today. It was just one of those stomach things that you need to clear out and go back to playing when you feel better."
Cabrera, who spent virtually all of Spring Training working back from an offseason surgery to clean up his right elbow, said he feels close to 100 percent. The right-hander had a 0.69 ERA in 13 innings for Triple-A Norfolk during his rehab assignment, striking out 13 batters and holding his opponents to a .229 batting average.
Cabrera said he worked on back-to-back days earlier in the week and that he's passed nearly every test put in front of him. The 26-year-old has mostly been working one inning per game, an assignment he'll likely continue with the Orioles. Cabrera was injured during his nine-game stint with Baltimore last season but said he didn't regret the decision to pitch hurt.
"I'm not going to come up with an excuse," he said. "I'm not going to blame anything. I was sore a little bit, hurt, and I decided to pitch that way. That was my decision. I don't want to blame being sore on my effectiveness or not."
Trembley said he's not certain how he'll use Cabrera, and he cautioned against reading too much into his gaudy ERA.
"To be honest with you, it's a whole lot different pitching in Double-A and Triple-A than it is in the big leagues," he said, underlining the obvious. "And it's a whole lot different environment coming in here than it is in some of those other places. The true evaluation you get is after you see them pitch at this level and in arenas like this."